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Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Childhood Memories.......


When I was a child boats seem to figure quite a lot in our enjoyment. Not that we owned a boat you understand, but one of the regular outings we used to take was to New Brighton, on Merseyside, where we would take a trip across the Mersey and back on either the Royal Iris or the Royal Daffodil ferry.

My Dad was the baby of his family and had four sisters, two of whom each had a lot of children. Some of my Dad's nieces and nephews were the same age as him with children of their own - I had lots of cousins! This meant that we would often have big family outings, someone would order a coach and we'd all clamber aboard to be taken New Brighton, That doesn't sound very exciting does it, well not until I tell you that it wasn't just a matter of sailing back and forth on the ferry, oh no there was much more to it than that. In 1953, the Wallasey Corporation were advertising Luxury Cruises, this was an attraction that no other resort could offer. Cruising on the magnificent air conditioned T.S.M.V. Royal Iris and Royal Daffodil, with their Ballroom, Cocktail and Lounge Bars, Buffet, Orchestra, etc. Fares were 2/- (10p) to 3/- (15p) per 2 hour cruise. You can see some pictures here.


Us children weren't allowed to go up on the deck unless we were with one of the adults, but we didn't mind because we had such fun being waltzed round the room whilst standing on an adult's feet. I think that's when my love of dancing started. By the time we disembarked the adults had all had 'a few jars' and would be singing all the way home on the coach, mostly us kids were asleep, exhausted from all the dancing!


Another outing we regularly took was a picnic to the Lake District - usually Windermere. Once again someone would order a coach and we'd all pile on, but this time the Mums would have made mountains of sandwiches all wrapped in the greaseproof paper in which the loaves had been wrapped. There would be bottles of pop for the children - lemonade, dandelion and burdock and bottles of beer for the adults. Once we arrived the blankets would be spread out and the picnic would start. We'd play cricket and hide and seek and more often than not we'd take a cruise on the Lake. The Lake District is such a beautiful place with the most spectacular scenery.

Then of course there was Blackpool, with it's Golden Mile. All us kids were kept busy on the coach by trying to spot the Tower first so we could claim the sixpence on offer. Back in the time when all summer's were GLORIOUS, we spent hours making sandcastles, riding donkeys and eating 'banana butties' on the beach, we'd change into swimsuits beneath a voluminous towel held by mum and go hurtling down the beach to the sea into which we plunged headlong - only to very quickly scoot out again because it was always freezing cold! In Blackpool you could take a trip into the sea on one of the amphibious trucks, which was really exciting for us kids. Then of course there was the pleasure beach with it's exciting rides, and invariably we would spend an hour there watching the laughing clown or messing about in the fun house or Noah's Ark.


We didn't just go to Blackpool in the summer of course, every year in October we would go by coach to see 'the lights', the famous Blackpool Illuminations. Once again someone in the family would order a coach and off we'd go. Us kids always thought it an adventure going to 'the lights' because it was dark, we thought we were being allowed to stay up late because it was dark, not realizing that because of the time of year it was dark at 4 p.m.!


Of course the highlight of the year was Christmas, but I'll write about that some other time.

25 comments:

Gledwood said...

We never had a boat either.

But I DID have my own personal SLEDGE haha!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Akela I love this as it reminds me of when I was small. The Lake District is so beautiful, and I also remember visiting the Blackpool Illuminations and feeling that I was so lucky to be up late.
You described it so well I feel like a sarnie.
Big sighhhhhhhh

Nea said...

What a beautiful place, the Lake District. It sounds as if you had a wonderful childhood with much to remember with fondness. Going dancing on a fancy ship, what fun.

Elween said...

i have checked out the blackpool illumination site you gave. it's like a mini wonderfuland!

Dumdad said...

I've never been to Blackpool but hope to one day. When I lived in the Land of the White Rose we went to Scarborough. But our hols sounded much like those of the Land of the Red Rose especially:

Dandelion and burdock! I haven't tasted that for many years. I used to love Tizer too.

Banana butties - grand!

Happy days.

CG said...

What happy memories this post evoked...Tizer! I used to love going on the Ferries and still do.

buffalodickdy said...

It's funny, but when you're young and doing new things almost every day, those activities seemed normal. Then when you get older you realize they were special times, different from the "new" but soon to be routine things you were doing at home. I started adding up all the trips we took as as kids, and know now they were special!

Flowerpot said...

My education is sorely lacking - I've never been to blackpool!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Okay, here comes the American. What IS a butter buttie??

The Rotten Correspondent said...

BANANA buttie!

oops...

Miss Understood said...

I've never been to the Lake District, but I remember my first time in Blackpool.

What wonderful memories. I love it when someone has a wonderful childhood. x

RUTH said...

I loved reading your chidhood memories. Still yet to visit Blackpool but I often eat Banana Butties :o)
Rx

Akelamalu said...

Gledwood you had a sledge? I always wanted a sledge! :)

I'm glad this brought back good memories for you too Jo - go get a buttie now! x

The Lake District truly is beautiful Nea, my wish for you is that you get to see it for real someday. x

I'm glad you enjoyed it Elween :)

Oooh Tiger, I forgot about Tizer dumdad - I wonder if you can still get it? I'll have a look tomorrow in Morrisons. The seaside was a magical place when we were kids - whether Blackpool or Scarborough, though Blackpool isn't like it used to be. :(

Do the ferries still run CG? I might have to drag MWM on one if they do, he's never had the pleasure. :)

You're right Buffalodickdy, it's only when we get older that we appreciate how good things that we took for granted were.

That's a shame Flowerpot but Blackpool has gone steadily downhill I'm sorry to say. A drive through the illuminations is still OK though.

Correspondent a buttie is a sandwich, so a banana buttie is a banana sandwich! Buttie is a northern term. :)

You gotta go to the Lake District Miss U, it's gorgeous. Blackpool used to be so much fun, I suppose it still is but it's very scruffy now.

I still love banana butties Ruth - yummy! Maybe you'll get to Blackpool sometime eh?

Akelamalu said...

I wasn't calling you TIGER Dumdad I meant to type TIZER! ;)

Mother of Invention said...

We used to just float home made boats down the ditches! My family took houseboat trips through a canal system for a week or two and that was so great!Such fond and fun memories.

Sally Lomax said...

I would have loved those boart trips...

Mike M said...

I just love reading these stories!!

Akelamalu said...

I've always wanted to have a canalboat holiday MOI but MWM doesn't fancy it.

You would, Sally, you would!

Thanks Mike, I'm glad you enjoy reading about 'olden days' as our Sam calls them! :0

julia said...

Maude Lewis artwork! Yay!

Your childhood memories are wonderful, Akelamalu. Thanks for the link to the laughing clown - I watched it just as 'Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite' was playing on my CD media player!

Akelamalu said...

Glad you enjoyed the artwork and the laughing clown Julia x

Mimi Lenox said...

Playing hide and seek and taking a cruise on the lake...eating Mums "mountains of sandwiches"...I love the way you take your readers back into this magical time in your life.

Akelamalu said...

Thank you Mimi, I'm glad you enjoyed the memories. x

MarmiteToasty said...

Oh my, what wonderful beautiful memories....

I LOVE the lake district and have spent many summer holidays there years go with me now X and my lads....

x

Akelamalu said...

Yes the Lake District is truly beautiful Marmie, glad you enjoyed my memories. x

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