Blackpool isn’t everyone’s cup of tea I know. I’m not all that keen myself, but I find myself being dragged back there every few years or so.
I was 15 when I first spent my life savings there on slot machines, fun rides and candy floss.
I was 20 when I went their for holiday with my best mate, and spent five years savings in a week on a few beers and on a girl I met in the opposite boarding house.
I was 31 when I returned to Blackpool with the same girl, who was then my wife, together with her Mum and Dad and our first born son Jonathan with another one on the way.
It was the hot summer of 1976. Yes it was hot, even in Blackpool. We spent just about every day on the beach, rebuilding the sandcastle that had mysteriously disappeared overnight and hardly spent a penny as we hardly had a penny to spend in those days.
We stayed at a better class of Boarding House than we were used to. It called itself the Elgin Hotel and it was owned by Mr & Mrs Seddon.
It was next door to the famous North Shore pub called “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.
A few weeks ago, some very old friends asked us to join them for a weekend in Blackpool.
It was some years since we had been there, so we agreed to return to the Elgin Hotel as our previous experience had been a good one, albeit some 40 years before. We were interested to find out what had changed over the years.
We arrived in the late afternoon in early November to find that the Blackpool Lights season had ended the week before and Turkey & Tinsel season had started in full swing, with two coachloads of septuagenarian party people filling the bar area singing Christmas Carols. Who said old people are boring?
The Elgin had changed a lot. It was now twice as big as it was in the early 70’s, having merged with the Hotel next door in the in between years.
Most surprising of all was that the Hotel was still owned by the same family.
The current MD Nigel Seddon reminded us that he would have been just 10 years old when we last stayed there, and that each floor of the Hotel shared one bathroom 40 years ago!
The Elgin today is a few notches below the Blackpool Hilton, but with prices around £100 per night per room including breakfast and dinner and en-suite in each room, I felt it was priced about right.
Our first floor room was unfortunately next to a noisy lift, and if like me you’re ready for your bed around 10.30pm then be prepared to enjoy the cabaret until about 11.30pm in the comfort of your bedroom.
The standard of cleanliness, service and food in the 70’s was well above standard as I recall, and the same applies today.
Whenever you go to Blackpool you can be sure that you will be entertained. Even in November there were numerous shows in the many theatres, piers and clubs and public transport is good, whether you choose buses or those fantastic traditional trams.
The Elgin, like most of the town’s Hotels of the same standard have a cabaret of sorts most nights aswell as a session of BINGO!!!!!!!
Will we ever return to Blackpool? Well……….why not?