Good effort Team GB. I’d started to think that was going to be the epitaph to our Olympic dreams until I visited the Lights depot for the centenary display’s preview.
Rowing pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning came good just as Dora the Explorer beat me to the queue for coffee (yeah, but now try to pick up a cup). We high-fived each other.
No sign of Bradley Beaver. But news of the other Bradley broke later that afternoon and if that hasn’t propelled this ever so British understated marvel of championship cycling towards the top of the VIP guest list for Switch On night I don’t know what will. Bradley Wiggins lives in Lancashire.
If anyone’s going to get backsides on those rental bikes on the seafront he will. This is an officially designated cycle town. It’s why we have short sharp shocks of cycle lanes which stutter to a halt a few yards of starting - even if some hoteliers can count on one hand the number of cyclists using them.
We also have Ride the Lights to look forward to, one of the most popular events in the cycling calendar for Blackpool, because this, above all else, is a family night out, when the Promenade permits priority to bikes and trikes and tandems in a glorious procession of unadulterated enjoyment and occasional eccentricity.
It’s seeing the Lights at their best. The only thing better - as even the illuminated trams trundle past too fast - is on foot. And that, as Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen reflected at this week’s Lights preview, has to be combined with rain - to make the Lights sparkle more - and with a bag of warm chips. I’m warming to that man. He’s got style and substance. If he ever had a chip on his shoulder it would be gold encrusted.
Which brings us to Blackpool’s enduring triumph. Our Illuminations. I think we will strike gold this year for the centenary display. Yes, I’m sticking my neck out but I was just as quick to complain about last year’s display without appreciating the toll cutbacks and metal thieves had taken.
And while many whinged the show of shows was taking shape behind the scenes, LL-Bo’s latest features being created, old favourites given a welcome overhaul, and some truly fabulous street art prepared by big name urban artists lending their distinctive touch to the Lights.
Some of the examples simply shine. Kids, prisoners, community artists involved in the new look heritage trams. Traders banging the drum as the Friends of the Lights. There’s even a former hotelier now an electrician fixing LED lights onto Blackpool Tower to help light up the town she loves.
And it all goes beyond self interest. The Lights are part of our heritage, 100 years this year. But they need to be part of our legacy, too. Pass it on.