I was pushed into getting a summer job quite late on... I think I was 15 when the delights of delivering papers for my dad finally wore off and it seemed like the ideal escape.
We had the newsagents shop on Fleetwood Road (the one with the handy off licence next door) and so spent much of the mid 1970s enduring the thrills of ramming folded up copies of the Sunday papers along with their many supplements through inch wide letter boxes at posh houses up on the Prom at Little Bispham.
Extra cash could be had on Saturday morning doing the rounds collecting money from the residents of Norkeed Court who couldn’t be bothered struggling down Wilson Square to pay their papers (a sort of Adrian Mole style debt collector).
So what to do for a summer job? I noticed all those who really fancied themselves (usually the rugby First XV) were queuing up to be Deckies... (a chance to spend the summer leaning against a pile of deckchairs chatting up girls, whilst wearing shorts).
That wasn’t for me, besides I didn’t have the legs for it back then. Instead I ended up in retail when the strict but fair, Miss Naventi thought it might be a good idea to send a 15-year-old Mitchell out on to the beach to serve ice cream.
Naventis was a very old Blackpool company which made its own Italian style ice cream from a factory in Shannon Street. Miss Naventi herself knew the tides like the back of her hand and could time the arrival of another Land Rover towing an ice cream trailer to the second the tide started to ebb at Crystal Road.
I did a couple of summers on the beach, bunking off once each year to go and watch the Radio 1 Roadshow on Princess Parade.
The ultimate thrill though came in 1984, when I got the chance to work on the trams, something I’d always wanted to do. It was fantastic fun and an opportunity to thrash a clapped out tram all the way to Fleetwood and back.
My abiding memory of that? ….trying to stop the thing with a special brake lever in the driver’s cab, and all the doors shooting open instead.