From Blackpool we often travel south along our varied Fylde coast, enjoying the salubrious environs of St Annes or Lytham; even venturing inland to our rolling countryside.
Last week, however, we turned north for Fleetwood. In winter we regularly attend afternoon tea dances there at the North Euston Hotel’s ballroom, with a meal afterwards looking across the bay to Lakeland peaks. However, this was a reunion for a special 50th celebration, also marking the publication of my latest novel - a nautical first - entitled Voyage of Discovery.
Former Gazette man David Pearce was born and bred in the one-time fishing port and so proud of it colleagues fondly nicknamed him Captain Haddock. Dave’s a well-known figure locally, deeply involved in the community, particularly its seafaring heritage.
However, we weren’t marking his 50th (long gone, like mine) when meeting up at the Dead ‘Uns (or Royal Oak), a vintage pub once favoured by ‘deckies’ sailing to Icelandic seas. They’d spend any remaining cash here before embarking, tossing any remaining coins – or dead ‘uns – to eager kids waiting outside.
We continued through the old dock area to the Steamer, a haunt of former trawler skippers. They all sway from side to side, as Dave does, when stood telling a fishing yarn. It must be a hangover from sailing days.
To avoid any hangover ourselves, we then dropped anchor at our final destination, the Trafalgar. This traditional seafood restaurant has delighted diners for half a century while in the same family ownership.
There we were joined by the ladies, flush from a shopping spree at Freeport. It was time to relish an unsurpassed taste of the seas. If you haven’t tried the Trafalgar’s fish soup, you’re a dead wrong ‘un and missing a treat! I’m practically addicted.
What a wonderful coast we live upon! There’s something here for everyone, whatever the season.
• For Roy’s books visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com.