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Friday, 10 August 2012


We went to Blackpool on Friday. Firstly to check out the run for day trips. It was about two and a half hours each way. We had planned to go with Garnett's bus trips. They only charge £12 return, but they cancelled because not enough people booked. The weather has been so unpredictable, it's not surprising. The day we were there had a few spots of rain but on the whole it was fine and mild. We sat outside to have lunch and watched the punks.
It was the REBELLION FESTIVAL. Thousands of punks in amazing clothes and some wonderfully coloured mohicans were there. I didn't dare take a photo of many of them in case what it said on their t-shirts was true. Most punks are now middle aged, overweight and less attractive than they have ever been before. You wouldn't want to mess with one.
We've often thought that xmas away might be fun so we checked out a venue or two. More on that later.

On Monday we had to meet up with a BBC TV documentary crew to film some sequences for an upcoming documentary about the Industrial Revolution. The researcher had found my blog and its references to seacoal. We often walk the beach at Seaton Carew and collect the coal that lies around after high tide. We take it home and use it. We have some specially fine examples even!
If you look closely at the right hand of the man in the suit, you'll see he is holding my best specimen as if he has just picked it up off the sand. He had actually, but only after the producer/director on the right had put it there. I showed them other coal lying around but the pieces weren't impressive enough. In the background you can see the mouth of the River Tees and the ship coming into port and the steel works at Redcar on the other side of Teesport.
It poured with rain at one stage but we held out and even did trips back to the carpark to fetch the jib for the camera so that it could take pictures as it slowly rose over the dunes. It all took about three hours and will produce about three minutes of opening and closing scenes. We all ended up at The Almighty Cod for a late fish and chip lunch, shook hands, retrieved our coal and went on our ways.
The programme will be shown in January just when everyone has forgotten about it...but I'll remind you.
In the lower centre of this picture are the Red Arrows. There are only six now. We were on our way to visit  WW2 airfields and museums in Lincolnshire so that we could research DJ's uncle who was a Lancaster Bomber pilot and was killed in WW2. We had pulled over and put the kettle on for a coffee and make a sandwich for lunch. There was a lot of plane noise overhead but that is common in Lincs. Then we saw the coloured smoke and realised it was the Red Arrows practising. They are based at Scampton and so we drove over to the village and pulled in at the Dambusters' Inn. A lovely pub full of memorabilia from the Dambusters' Squadron. It was just about to close but is top of our list for the next time.
We then went on to Dunholme Village and Dunholme Lodge to see the actual airfield remains from 44 Squadron which DJ's uncle flew with. This is part of the old runway. All around has reverted to farmland and we met the present owner of the Lodge and he showed us round.
We drove on then to Skegness. I have not given Skeggie bold letters. It does not deserve them. The camp site was OK but no-one cleans the toilet block in the afternoon and the flooded floor was left all night. We went down to the front to eat and were dismayed. Eventually we settled in "Williams" away from the front. DJ's curry was just like all the other kormas you get. His small side serve of chips was £2.50 and grossly overpriced. My pasta with pancetta and scallops was a disaster. There was no sauce on the pasta and the scallops and pancetta were cold and raw. A girl took it away and said she would tell the chef. I don't believe there is a chef in these places. It's the same girl who takes the order who reads the instructions, who then presses the buttons, waits for the "ding" and arranges it on a plate. She must have missed out a step or two.

We left early and went to East Kirkby to the Aviation Museum. Their highlight is a Lancaster Bomber which moves under its own power. It takes people for rides up and down the runway. Mostly old blokes with a fetish for old planes. Their wives sometimes come too but they sit on the picnic tables and have coffee and watch. The rides cost a lot of money and only last 20 minutes but even so, are booked up for this year so DJ can't get a ride on it till next May!
In the hangar they have one of the Bouncing Bombs from the Dambuster raids. Obviously they didn't drop this one.

This was one of the best air museums I've been to (about five if you must know) and I'll be happy to go again. We were doing Antiques places too. Hemswell Air Base now houses vast areas of antiques. I felt that about 60% of the antiques for sale in England must be in one of their hangars. It was all to much and very overwhelming. I was glad to see planes at the next place.

Tinker had her stitches out today and is enjoying playing in the garden. 

Cheer for now Gillian


love those cupcakes said...

Oh, I haven't visited Blackpool since the 70's when a group of us who were graduating from Warwick uni decided a day trip there was the way to celebrate.

Look forward to watching the programme. (Should I be asking for your autograph?) We sometimes see sea coalers at Saltburn.

Lyn said...

We took the children from class 2 to Blackpool a few months ago and they loved it!
IYou must remind us when your coal is on TV I want to see that series, sounds interesting.

carol said...

I really hope the program on sea-coal gets this far north. Which channel was it? thanks for all the photos.