BESIDES THE SEASIDE
Like many Northerners my memories of Blackpool were day trips on a coach to the Pleasure Beach and then, later, , home through the ‘lights’. One of my of memories of Blackpool as a child is seeing a fight spill out from a pub on the Golden Mile and having to be grabbed by my dad to avoid being knocked over by the drunken fight. It was always a town of contradictions. Buses and buses come and deposit excited people from those sleeping in prams, who would remember nothing, to pensioners who were living with their memories. In the midst of this holiday excitement, a promenade of lights, gaudy plastic toys, smutty postcards and novelty hats, where the notion of a holiday resort is maintained. But just behind, a few steps away in the streets immediately behind the prom is a very different world. Here are the people sleeping in doorways, the spice statues, the empty shops whose names reflect the hopeful dreams of those that wanted to be their own bosses only to discover their dreams ending when the money ran out. Blackpool was like everywhere else during the crisis but it wasn’t before it began. There’s nowhere like Blackpool, it is a museum and theatre as much as a town.