Wigan memories...remembering the magic of a £1 note spending money in Blackpool
Geoffrey Shryhane looks back at magical holidays from the past...
Kids all over Wigan looked forward to that special Saturday in the middle of July when they would wallow in the pleasures of the club outing.
Dads tipped up £1 a week to finance a train trip and day out in Blackpool.
It was a truly magical occasion but best of all was that £1 note in a little brown envelope which each child could spend as he or she wished after a hot lunch at Woolworths.
Families with lots of little ones and several shin-damaging tansads piled aboard the train and tumbled off at Backpool Central Station in the shadow of the tower.
Later mothers and children headed to the beach and donkey rides and dads to the nearby Manchester Hotel for refreshments, just hearing mother say: “No more than two pints, Jack.”
A suggestion to be strongly admired.
Then there was Punch and Judy and as the afternoon wore on the lady was seen packing up her jugs of tea. Kids and mums too didn’t want the fun and relaxation to end.
Dad, happy with a few pints, settles down and places the newspaper over his face to keep the sun off. And the mums and aunties chatted and gossiped to their hearts’ content.
Not long after folks began to drift from the beach and the sand castles were left to the mercy of the tide.
And with an hour to kill before the train, there was just time for a bag of chips from a side-street cafe and then the thrill of the penny arcades.
Finally the big clock on Woolworths told its sad story or us all having to head for the station and as the train pulled in, happy families admitted to a degree of fatigue.
Home time and as the train goes on its way, the tower gets smaller and smaller.