Taking stock - September 24, 2012

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On Friday I finally managed to get out and about on the Prom and enjoy a night at the Lights.

I say finally because, up to now, wind, rain, thunder, lightning and whatever else the great British weather can throw at us, has made Friday nights pretty much a no go.

It was a great shame, a week earlier, to see the fireworks display cancelled – even though the news, mid afternoon, did lead to an almost immediate easing of the storm battering the Fylde coast.

It wasn’t so easy to explain to an excited four-year-old who, standing in the evening sunshine, a gentle breeze causing the slightest of movement in the tops of the trees, couldn’t understand how the wind had spoiled her fun.

Thankfully there were no such worries this week and didn’t the Prom provide a spectacular sight.

Even before the big display got going, the Irish Sea gave us a light show if its own, the sunset was one to savour.

The fireworks were fabulous as were the crowds, plenty of happy families out there – a far cry from the party town, over-run with stag and hen parties you might have seen on a certain documentary.

Of course, our town has its problems, but this really was Blackpool at its very best – far more than just a few strings of bulbs as one of my colleagues might have you believe.

It was a reminder that Blackpool, far from being Britain’s Las Vegas, is truly one of a kind.

A story told to me by a friend this week backed up such a claim – a real ‘only in Blackpool’ affair.

It started with a car accident.

Not a major one, you understand, but a little bump – what our friends over the pond might call a fender-bender.

Let’s, for the sake of argument and because I can’t recall how events really unfolded, say it was a simple clipped wing mirror.

Had, as is often the case, both drivers thought nothing of it and carried on their way, the tale would end there.

But, being honest citizens, both drivers decided to stop and exchange details.

All routine until one got out of his car dressed, in full costume as welsh wonder Tom Jones – complete with painted on goatee beard.

“And who are you supposed to be,” exclaimed the bemused driver of the other motor.

Staying in character, almost, our lookalike replied, in his best booming welsh tones.

“I’m John Prescott.”

Now, at this point, anybody might be forgiven for thinking our counterfeit crooner was extracting the Michael – John Prescott dressed as Tom Jones.

Surely the fact he wasn’t driving a Jag should have been the giveaway, but it was only after a swift flashing of ID and an explanation our chap was on his way to an important meeting with Bono and Elton John (not the real ones) were things finally resolved.

It’s one of those tales you couldn’t make up and, I’m convinced, could only happen here in Blackpool.

For all its faults, being very publicly aired right now, it’s a place I can’t help but love – colourful, weird, wonderful and truly unique