Blackpool from the car

We first visited Blackpool as a family back in 1990. On that occasion we had decided to stay over so that we could ‘see the lights’. In those days, coach tours from across the country brought visitors to see the ‘Illuminations’ and it was almost one of those things that should be on a bucket list. I don’t know if that still happens!

Our visit this time was fleeting as we were off to football so we decided to just drive along the promenade to see the lights. Yes, it was in the middle of the day but you could imagine the colour and brightness that the darkness would bring.

It was packed with people – some shoppers, some visitors and lots of children (it was UK half term holiday)  all bustling along. There was a cold wind blowing and the sun wasn’t really in the mood to come out and play.

As we drove along, my first reaction was of disappointment. There was so much advertising hanging across the street. It felt ‘in your face’ but maybe when it was lit it would not be quite so noticeable. I suppose that it is a sign of these austere times and those who are funding the lights want to get as much publicity as possible. I remembered that even Regents Street in London was sporting the Marmite logo last year so it is not just Blackpool.

I don’t remember so much being actually on the promenade. All sorts of shows and activities to take part in during the day. I expect they will all be brightly lit once night falls. For those of you who haven’t been, the lights are arranged in themes. so you have a few hundred yards of mermaids, then Arabian nights, then animals that have been cut in two  with half a body on each side of the road.

The Tower is still a splendid sight. Although nowhere near the height of the Eiffel Tower, it would have many amazing tales to tell with it’s ballroom below. I wonder if they still have the organ coming up from the basement with a smiling organist ready to entertain?

I wonder what the people of Blackpool think of their ‘attraction’ and whether they would like people to know about their town rather than just limiting their visits to the seafront? I wonder what changes to the lights they have seen over the years or are they just part of life in this northern town?

Have you visited Blackpool or have you a town with similar illuminations that draw the crowds in?

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