Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A walk down Blackpool Promenade

Hello. Since I was last in Blackpool a lot has been happening, and the extensive renovations along the Promenade have been completed to make it a pleasure to walk along. There is still a lot more which could be done on the other side of the road however. The traditional shops, cafes, and amusement arcades are still very popular, but the upper floors of the buildings are in a state of disrepair and look quite shabby in places. I suppose it's all down to who owns them, and if they can afford to do anything about it. The trouble is that any buildings on a sea front are going to deteriorate quicker than anywhere else, and need a lot of money to keep them up to scratch. It's an ongoing battle with nature. 
On Monday Carol and I set off from her house, she lives about a mile from the sea front at Cleveleys. The plan was to walk to Blackpool, stop when we'd had enough, and get a tram back. It was blustery, but at least it was dry and warmish. There are still a few of these old shelters about. 
The work on the Promenade at Cleveleys is mostly finished, with just a bit more to do. Most of the bigger hotels are along the North Shore. This is the Norbreck Castle, or part of it, it's too big to get it all in the picture. I used to come here a few years ago with my 'Mr Puss', mobile shop. They have a cat show every year. I would turn up the day before to set up my stand, then sleep in my car at the back of the hotel. No one ever asked me what I was doing.

Work on Blackpool Illuminations is an all the year round job. Erecting new displays and repairing old ones. These look just as good in the daytime as art instillations without them being lit up.




We found a cafe and had mushroom omelette and chips for lunch, and continued along the Prom, past North Pier.

Took a picture of this from across the road. Erm....this is a Wedding Chapel? Really? People actually get married here? Surely not, it looks awful! Well I had to goooglie it, the blurb says it's stunningly beautiful inside and out. I think not. It boasts a view of the Tower from one window, and the sea from another. You can get married as the sun is setting over the sea, or later in the evening when the Illuminations are on. It's a nice idea, but the building looks hard and cold. Have a look at the brochure if you want to book it.

Now this I wholeheartedly approve of, we need more comedy in our lives. The Comedy Carpet on the Promenade in front of the Tower. We didn't go up the Tower for a birds eye view.





Have a look at this video to see how it was made. It cost 2.6 million £'s, and was unveiled in 2010.



We carried on walking along the Prom. The donkeys are out giving the kiddies rides. A tradition which dates back a long time. I hate to see animals used for human amusement, I hope they look after them. Here is a BBC article about their welfare. The donkeys have to have a one hour daily lunch break, and have one day off per week.


I noticed that there are a lot of new trams and buses in Blackpool, they look very sleek and modern. The old tram depot is near Manchester Square so we went to see if we could have a look round some of the vintage trams they still run. Alas, we were not allowed inside.


I've found a video of some of the old trams returning to the depot on their very last run in 2011. I'm glad some of them will be making an appearance again on their Heritage Route.



Hoooraaay, we have made it to the Pleasure Beach. I wondered at this point if Carol would like to call it a day and get on the tram to go back, but no, she was game to explore some more. We went to the reception to purchase tickets for entry to the park. It is £6 per person to enter, this includes a ride on the little train. Extra tickets can be purchase to go on the other rides, but we decided not to.  I excitedly told the young man on the desk that I used to work on the hot dog, waffle, and donuts stall over 45 years ago, and this visit would bring back many happy memories for me. I was dead chuffed when he gave us a free ticket so there was only one to pay for. Now that's good customer service.



Here we are at the little train station. It was a smashing ride, it goes behind the scenes and under the coasters, with lots to see alongside the track. I was struck by how much greener the place looks from when I worked there. Most empty spaces have been planted up with trees, shrubbery, and flowers. It looks more like an American Theme Park now. There's such a lot to see. I imagine a one day pass would not be enough time to take it all in. The children's park is massive, and a new coaster is being constructed for the season next year.



This is where I used to work. The kiosk was opposite the Log Flume, which is no longer there, it has another ride in it's place. Where that young lady assistant is standing used to be me selling waffles.

Difficult to catch a coaster train when it's whizzing around super fast.

Oooh look, My old buddies are still there. I must say, they are looking a bit old and decrepit now, I don't think they have been doing enough exercise and have let themselves go a bit, ha ha.

Now Carol's gone and got herself locked up, s'pose I'll have to bail her out.

What a fabulous day out we've had. I'm impressed with the Pleasure Beach, no need to fly hundreds of miles to visit a theme park, we have one right here in Lancashire. The only gripe I do have is that the Laughing Man is no longer funny. He has gone through many changes in his lifetime, but the one I remember is a real circus clown dressed in a colourful costume with full clown makeup and a frizzy colourful wig. Now it's a plain brown silk costume, and he has no makeup on. I couldn't raise a titter.

Now you have enjoyed our walk from Cleveleys to the Pleasure Beach, perhaps you would like to ride the tram back with us.



That's the end of the holiday pics. Blimey, I thought I was hungry, I've missed lunch. Better get an early dinner. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

25 comments:

  1. Loved Blackpool we were only there a few weeks ago, shame we weren't there at the same time.

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  2. Love Blackpool and Fleetwood.

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  3. Loved reading all about Blackpool !

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  4. wish I had known in advance, I was in Blackpool last Monday to Friday, staying in the north very near to Cleavleys,I was also in Fleetwood on the Thursday taking photo's of the same lighthouse lol
    Tilly

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    1. You were a week ahead of me, tilly. I went on Saturday and came back Tuesday.

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  5. So glad you enjoyed Blackpool. DH and I had a private tour of the tram sheds and saw all the old trams and those being renovated. 2 Heritage trams run every day in the summer carrying visitors up and down the promenade.
    http://www.blackpoolheritage.com/httours/
    xx
    So glad you met Carol in Thornton. Not there's only Thrift Deluxe for you to visit a bit further up the coast! :)

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  6. I have stayed at the Norbreck. Loved Blackpool too and Clevelys. Trams cheaper on a day ticket if you don't have a bus pass. The Tower is expensive but we wanted to see where Strictly Come Dancing is filmed. Lovely interior with the Wurlitzer organ and excellent circus too.

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  7. Haha! Your old buddies sure didn't listen to you about keep healthy. :) Blackpool is on my bucket list if I ever make it across the pond. 2.6 mil? I could live the rest of my life on that and then some. Wow!

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  8. I've never been to Blackpool. It's good to hear that they're spending money on it...think I would enjoy the illuminations.
    Arilx

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  9. in my teens, our swimming club used to organise a day out to Blackpool. oh what fun we would have in that pleasure park.Then we would go through the lights and get home about 2am in the morning. Couldn't hack those hours now

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  10. It's been over 35 years since I've been there, but what an interesting reflection.

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  11. I remember riding on those donkeys over 50 years ago !! Our Granny would treat us when we stayed with her in Manchester during the school holidays. We traveled there by train.

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  12. I loved this nostalgia post. Here in the US, I doubt any of the old amusement parks I knew as a child exist in any form. I want to go back to Natatoriam Park, where I grabbed the gold ring from my merry-go-round horse (carousel) when I was about 6. I think that got me a free ride, but my memory stops at grabbing that ring. And I must share my grandfather's version of the burning deck boy: "The boy stood on the burning deck, his feet were burned to blisters, and I can tell you anyhow, he wished they were his sister's." Do you know the origin of this poor lad on his burning deck? So glad you had such a lovely day. Kate in Oregon

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    1. The Boy stood on the burning deck, picking his nose like mad.......

      Plenty more versions here.

      https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070130064925AArYqQg

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  13. Looks like lots of fun things to do in Blackpool along the waterfront.

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  14. Looks like you had a really great day out. I enjoyed following you through the photos.

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  15. Being brought up in Liverpool before moving to Essex and we used to visit the Blackpool illuminations in October when they traditionally started each year! It was October because it was darker earlier. I hadn't realised they are all year round now.

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    1. You misunderstand. I didn't say they are on all the year round. The structures are permanently sited, it saves a lot of time and money putting them up at the start, and taking them down at the end. They are not lit up at night until switch on time in September.

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  16. What a lovely post. I have never visited Blackpool but this makes me want to soon :)

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  17. Its great to walk along the seafront!Years ago,i would only do it in the sunshine..but now i dont care if the winds howling or raining.Nothing beats that smell of the sea!And even better if fish n chips are thrown in with it,lol.Well talking of rain,its been on and off all morning here in Leicester.Im going out soon to take some more stuff to the animal charity shop.The house is looking a lot clearer and im loving it.I feel so much more organised...although,like ive said before ive still got alot of clothes,But alot have gone aswell,lol.Im even parting with some CDs that i havent got a clue why i bought them,..but tried listening to them yesterday and realised that i could live without them.I prob only bought them in the first place cause they were only 20p each,lol.Best Wishes to you all,Debi,Leic,x

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  18. Thank you for this post. After wonderful holidays in Blackpool. I moved there with my parents when they retired. I lived in Blackpool for many years and it shaped much of my adult life. Good memories, thank you.
    Pam in TX.xx

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  19. Great report Ilona! It's donkey's years since I've been to Blackpool, I was a small child. Looks like it's as lively as ever with plenty for people to do.

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  20. A comedy carpet, what a great idea! The prom also looks great. I am unsure about the donkeys, though. It maybe is a good way to bring children in contact with animals, as long as they (the animals!) are well cared for.
    Best wishes to you all, Hilde

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  21. Hi Ilona. Love your posts as ever and seeing the photos of the places you go. I am with you a million per cent regarding animals and human enjoyment. Heard on the radio that Supervet is trying to rehome all the animals in one shelter within a week. Fantastic but they have to be vetted and go to the right owners. The radio presenter said if he did that immediately what would happen and he said he would move onto another shelter. How said that there are so many animals abandoned. Breaks my heart. What makes my heart glow is that there are so many people who do love animals and you are one of them. L (from your old town)

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    1. It breaks my heart too.All my dogs have been rescues and would have lots more if I could.Supervet is a wonderful man isn't he .
      I loved seeing your photos Ilona of your seaside holiday and your friends - great fun x

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