Saturday, 26 February 2011

The North - Pt.49: ". . . seaside, beside the sea." – Blackpool

Writing that didn't make the edit for my current 'special project':

On Blackpool -

"My idea of the North, as a child, was more particularly loaded towards Blackpool, Manchester being a much greater and more inscrutable unknown of undetermined location, somewhere away over the hills near 'Coronation Street'.
Dad tells me that we visited the Pleasure Beach, and there's memory of that.
More vivid, through repetition, when we visited and shopped as a family towards Christmas every year; Mum and Dad, Nan (Mum's mum) and Auntie Jean (Mum's sister). And me.

It was this:
The Tower, seen from the car or coach – the thrilling heave and chunter and bustle of the main covered market. Marvel Comics hanging from bulldog clips. The smell of hot, salty pies – the waft of them, the warm, savoury breezes from the shops that sold them. Fish ' n' chips 'n' mushy peas. Rain and cold wind. The Dr.Who Exhibition – a shabby portal to the imagination. Meeting up at the British Home Stores cafeteria with Nan and Jean after a couple of hours shopping - while outside the bright walls circled the 1960s and 70s. . . The compact, sugar-hit trifles in pots; blood red jelly, delicious and viscous custard and then, the least of it, the fluffy and tasteless cream dob at the top. Hated the flavour-free crunchy cherry above it.
The jolly, alluring crackle of white paper bags in sweet shops. Midget gems and Sour Apple sweets. Cough Candy.
A Funhouse mirror of a place.
A queasy mix of the sweet & soured.
Both savoury antidote and salty anecdote. . .


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