Let's Move to the Seaside...

Let's Move to the Seaside...

Let’s move to the seaside… I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d end up living here, beside the sea… Jane’s about one in this photo, taken way back in the mists of time, here in Blackpool (of course!)

The Good Old Days

We’ve been looking through our archives at Chrissie Towers, and Derek has been scanning loads of old slides, so now we can enjoy them all over again. It’s really lovely to see photos going back 40+ years, and my, how we’ve changed!

I don’t know about anyone else who had loads of slides, but they never seemed to see the light of day once we’d seen them and put them in boxes.

This one takes me straight back to that day as if it was yesterday. It brought back such happy memories of our three weeks at a time stay. We stayed at a friends holiday flats, and we had many happy hours spent in Blackpool.

Chrissie and family on Blackpool Beach, mid 1970’s

We’d arrived, checked into our digs and unpacked, so after tea we all had to go on the beach to let Jane and her dad play in the sand.

At least we got more sunny days then, it didn’t blow and rain nearly half as much as it does now (or is that just what you remember?) We enjoyed many happy hours on the beach building sandcastles, digging holes and generally enjoying it.

When it wasn’t warm enough to sit on the beach, we’d walk for miles along the seafront. One day we’d head north and walk as far sometimes as Bispham. Other days we’d walk south – one day we ended up at St Annes!

On the days when it did rain, we enjoyed sitting in the flat and watching the view. Jane’s tried a few times to trace the family of the people who owned them that we were friends with. Don and Elsie both died, and, like you do, we lost touch with their children and grandchildren.

Chrissie holidaying in flats in Blackpool, late 1970’s.

Jane, my mum and I loved to walk in the sea, paddling and chatting, we always were surprised at how far we’d gone. I don’t know about you, but when you’re paddling and enjoying the walk you seem to go ever so far in a short time. The photo of us three below looks like it could have been taken today.But look behind us and you can see the fishing jetty at the end of North Pier – it was lost many years ago.

Blackpool North Pier and Jetty

Of course in those days there was plenty of raw sewage to paddle through, yukky, yukky, you name it there were all sorts washed up on the shore line. When we talk to young people now about it I don’t think they believe us, but it’s true, and shows just how much has been done to clean up the sea.

My mum always wore tights even when it was mad hot, and quite thick they were too. So even now, I can still see her paddling with tights on which were taking up all the sand as she walked. When we went back to our deckchairs, her feet inside the tights were thick in sand, yuk!

We had great times at the Pleasure Beach, back in the days when you could just walk in. When we saw the old photos of the children’s area, it seemed to look quite sparse to what it does today. It’s really interesting to see how we’ve all aged and how the town has changed over the years.

Have a wander down memory lane with these old Blackpool photos

Let’s Move to the Seaside

Never ever in my wildest dreams did I think I would end up living in Cleveleys. Our friends who had the flats where we stayed were always trying to get us to buy a block of flats too. When Jane was young, they were very popular and filled easily. Although where they thought we’d get the money from at such a young age I don’t know, and to for Derek to give up his secure lecturers job was simply not going to happen. If you’d said ‘let’s move to the seaside’ to me back then, I’d have said ‘pull the other one, it’s got bells on’.

It just shows you how things change. Here we now are, living here in a town that I’d not particularly been to, other than passing through on the tram (Cleveleys that is). I didn’t know anything about it. Some years later (in the 1990’s) on a day trip, when we were driving down this way one afternoon, Derek suggested that we have a look at the place. He used to come here with his parents when he lived in Preston.

When we Found Cleveleys

I remember driving on the prom and there being a diversion sign, which I now know was down Carr Gate and back up to Thornton Gate. I was having a fit wondering where he was going to take us, especially as we were in the middle of all these houses. They were re-doing the mains sewer at the time. Local people might remember when the enormous mains sewer was put in all the way along the promenade from Blackpool to Fleetwood about 20 years ago, or maybe more.

When we finally got to the top of Thornton Gate and saw that we could park right next to the sea, we fell in love with it. There was no stopping us after that and we came for the day whenever we could, especially as it’s the West Coast. Although we lived fairly in the middle of the UK back then, the West was always the coast we preferred to visit, for all the evening sun and wonderful sunsets.

Here we are in this photo, having one of our picnics on the beach at Cleveleys. Look how low the sea wall was back then.

Let's move to the seaside, Chrissie on Cleveleys beach, mid 1990's
Chrissie on Cleveleys beach, mid 1990’s

I remember looking at the people who lived in the houses and bungalows on the sea front with a very wistful expression and thinking how lucky they were to live so near to the sea. I never thought we would end up here one day, even though we would have loved to, it seemed so impossible. ‘Let’s move to the seaside’ was still a pipe dream, little did we know how close we were getting to it!

We carried on coming to Cleveleys and even when we’d loosely said ‘wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to live on the seafront’ we didn’t really think we ever would. When we saw what is now our house for sale, I thought pigs might fly before we bought it. How wrong I was, and it just shows that if you wish hard enough (and work hard enough!) sometimes you can do what you want to do.

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  1. Avatar

    I was brought up in Thornton but spent many hours on the beach at Cleveleys with my grandparents. I am now 82 and live in New Zealand, but still miss Cleveleys. Miss the hiding behind the breakwaters trying to keep the sand from blowing into our sandwiches. Miss the collecting driftwood for Grandad’s stove. Miss the walks along the prom and the Jubilee gardens and the mini golf. This was all in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Used to go with Grandad to wind up the clocks in the shelter each week.

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