Ok I mentioned my home town of Blackpool in the last posting. Actually it wasn’t really, I was brought up in leafy Poulton-le-Fylde about 3 miles inland from the seaside town, but nobody’s ever heard of it. It’s a very neat, historic and affluent little town and about as different from Blackpool as you can get and the bulk of my family still live there. But Blackpool was always the shorthand for my home town. And I kind of liked the place when we were growing up. It was the place to work and make money with its iconic Tower and its permanent circus nestled in its foundations (with its unique finale – a ring filled with seawater for a waterscape spectacular). It had 3 great piers and 3 railway stations, dozens of theatres where all the top stars performed each summer. I remember the Beatles performing at the ABC and Hendrix and Pink Floyd at the Winter gardens. It had a football club whose history and ownership you could be proud of (instead of the degenerates who ran the club recently). 7 miles of golden sands (bar a few sewage outlets), the best promenade in the UK with its wonderful tram system and the best free show on earth, the Blackpool Illuminations. Then there were the award-winning parks and a fine zoo, the brilliant Pleasure beach with its thundering wood-built roller coasters. Dozens of great bars and clubs and probably the most adventurous gay scene that a repressed Britain dared to offer in the late 60’s. It was definitely a fun town, tawdry yes but built for a good time. And more than 10m visitors a year flocked to it.
So the area of the country where I was raised in the NW corner of the UK between the rivers Ribble and the Lune with the river Wyre bisecting the land, is in the news today. It’s the area known as the Fylde and my home town is Poulton-le-Fylde sitting slap bang in the middle of this flat agricultural area. It’s a Doomsday Book-referenced village meaning, I believe, the town by the pool (river) in the field. We ended up with a lovely Norman-based name but it could have been something mundanely Anglo-Saxon like Wyrhampton, which sounds like the place where Sam Allardyce spent his youth. Continue reading