Remembrance weekend always makes me appreciate the life we now enjoy, thanks to the brave sacrifices and determined efforts of others.
Here in Great Marton, our salute to those who fell has always been marked poignantly. A bugler or piper (now a recording) plays a haunting tribute by the commemorative cross in St. Paul’s Church graveyard, where wreaths were laid on Sunday.
The nearby Saddle Inn, Blackpool’s oldest hostelry, has always drawn veterans and current members of the emergency services, particularly the Fire Brigade, after the main rally at Blackpool Cenotaph.
On one occasion I’d been watching the war film A Bridge Too Far before going for a pint. It turned out that the highly decorated old soldier by me at the bar had fought there, at Arnhem.
“Nothing like the film,” he told me, “it was a disaster.” (Or more colourful words to that effect.) Personally, the last quarter century of my life has been the happiest – spent here on the lovely and diverse Fylde.
Earlier this year I published a humorous autobiography about my travels on newspapers before working on The Gazette for 25 years. But now I want to share why I have chosen to make this holiday coast my home, for a seasoned life beside the seaside.
Bright Lights & Pig Rustling is a light-hearted memoir looking back over recent years, coloured by vivid local characters, places and experiences. It’s essentially a tribute to our coast and its people, many of whom are drawn from very different pasts and locations.
The 270-page, illustrated book is now available on Kindle or in paperbacks, sponsored by the Arts Council, also from stores or my own non-profit-making, light-literary website (see below), started by retired journalists tired of all that bad news.
I hope you’ll enjoy it, as much I appreciate living here.
* For Roy’s books visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.