I’m going to Blackpool in a little over two weeks.
That probably shouldn’t make me quite as excited as I am. Admittedly, the major reason why I’m excited to go to Blackpool is that I get to see my girlfriend for the first time in five-and-a-bit weeks, but the town itself is making me excited too.
I was brought up devouring Carry On films. Not just watching, but staring wide-eyed, taking in every horizontal band on the cathode ray tube in all their washed-out Technicolour glory, carefully analysing each joke to see how it worked and why it was quite so naughty.
The Carry On films were English picture-postcards put onto celluloid; picture-postcards were seaside towns like Blackpool stopped in motion and put on paper. They’re dirty, they’re tawdry, and they’re more than a little bit naughty, but they have that end-of-the-pier innocence. And everyone I’ve spoken to tells me that’s exactly what Blackpool’s like.
Despite the fact that its heyday was widely agreed to be about 50 years ago, Blackpool still makes people smile and their eyes light up when I ask them about it. It’s quintessentially British: a bit naff, but loved for it. There are apparently kiss me quick hats and Blackpool Tower; Louis Tussauds’ waxworks and fish n’chips aplenty. There’s the Ballroom, the Tower and the Pleasure Beach. It’s likely to be dull rather than sunny (especially in late September as the evenings draw in, the wind whistles off the sea and the rain lashes down), but the vivacity of the place – plus a few thousand strategically-placed lightbulbs providing a megawattage to power a small country – will brighten it up.
I can’t wait for Blackpool. I’ve never been there, but everyone that has says that it should be fantastic, in an ironically-knowing way.
I need help though: what should we see and do in Blackpool? What’s your favourite part of the town? Let me know in the comments below.