Resort gets ready to open up writes Andy Mitchell
There’s a real sense of anticipation in the air this week as Blackpool, along with towns and cities across England, get ready for the big opening up of hotels and hospitality next Monday.
It’s also heartening to see the major works that are going on along the Prom and down our beloved holiday streets, to get buildings and attractions repainted and up to scratch, ready to welcome the expected tidal wave of customers we so desperately need.
Reports last week of continuing restrictions on foreign holidays to some of our favourite European destinations, mean those desperate for a getaway this summer will hopefully decide the cost of testing, and then having to quarantine on return for the whole family, will realistically be too prohibitive.
Therefore it’s curtain up next week on the famous Blackpool Holiday, now also badged up as the great British Staycation.
Attractions across town are ready to throw open their doors to indoor entertainment, whilst those of us who have sat in our coats and scarves in various makeshift “beer gardens” over the last few weeks, now have the promise of indoor tables and heating!
This week I’m at Blackpool Transport, welcoming back their army of Heritage tram volunteers for the first time since lock down. These are the devoted enthusiasts who devote their spare weekends to helping run Blackpool’s famous 1930s trams, icons as much a part of the Promenade landscape, as the piers and the Tower.
The volunteers are getting training in how to welcome our expected hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers, all gasping to get back to normality. This year we are looking at Blackpool as a Showtown, indeed the name of our wonderful new Museum on Central Promenade.
Tram staff will take to their “stage” from Bank Holiday weekend with pre booked tours. When the curtain goes up, they know they have to give the performance of their lives this summer, as indeed we all have to.
Traditional holidays are back in vogue. All we need now is the sunshine to go with them.
As we emerge into normal life, it was even heartening to hear the Government latch on to the notion in their latest three (now four) word slogan, that fresh air is good for you. It’s something we’ve known in Blackpool since the 1780s.
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