Tuesday, October 20, 2009



I am lucky to live in a part of the world with many great cultural attractions. Manchester has a wealth of industrial and sporting history. Liverpool has the Beatles and its maritime past. Wigan even has its "pier" (made famous by George Orwell's book).

Then there's Blackpool.

OK, I admit Blackpool has its tower and as a child I loved the place. Even as a teenager I'd make pilgrimages there with friends by train. The fun-fairs, the candy floss, the arcades full of games and of course the Pleasure Beach were all worth the trip. But I'm afraid that as the years passed I lost my desire to visit Blackpool, largely due to its tendency to be full of drunks as the evening set in.

But as with so many aspects of life, having kids has helped me to re-connect with what joy there is to be had. And in this case with what is good about Blackpool. In fact, with what is great about it: its illuminations.

Yes, every year during the early autumn, Blackpool puts on a show of lights that has been going for donkeys years. Yes, even since before I was born. Since 1879 in fact. The lights portray characters and tell stories and have enthralled kids for generations.

So last Saturday Hayley took our two to see them. And they loved it! At one point Lucy, who had been asleep, woke to see one of Blackpool's old fashioned trams fully decorated with lights and just emitted a long awe-filled "Wowwwwwwwww". Oliver loved the stories and characters - everything from Alice in Wonderland to the Teletubbies - but was most delighted when he saw Mickey Mouse standing near the road and Mickey waved to him.

Of course there was lots of other fun, especially the rides on the pier.

But I like to think its the illuminations that will have captured their imaginations and hopefully will be cause for us all to go back next year and for many years to come.


James (SeattleDad) said...

Nice to start the traditions early. The looks must have been priceless.

Steve said...

Unfortunately Hayley was driving, so there are no pictures of them looking at the illuminations. :(

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