Monday, 2 November 2009

A Wet Weekend in Blackpool

ALBERT AND THE LION

There's a famous seaside town called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.


A grand little lad was young Albert
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.


They didn't think much to the Ocean
The waves, they were fiddlin' and small
There was no wrecks and nobody drownded
Fact, nothing to laugh at, at all.
So, seeking for further amusement
They paid and went to the zoo
Where they'd lions and tigers and camels
And old ale and sandwiches too.


There were one great big lion called Wallace
His nose were all covered with scars
He lay in a somnolent posture
With the side of his face on the bars.


Now Albert had heard about lions
How they was ferocious and wild
To see Wallace lying so peaceful
Well, it didn't seem right to the child.


So straight 'way the brave little feller
Not showing a morsel of fear
Took his stick with its 'orse's 'ead 'andle
And shoved it in Wallace's ear.
You could see the lion didn't like it
For giving a kind of a roll
He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im
And swallowed the little lad 'ole


Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence
And didn't know what to do next
Said "Mother! Yon lions 'et Albert"
And Mother said "eeeh, I am vexed!"


Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Quite rightly, when all's said and done
Complained to the Animal Keeper
That the lion had eaten their son.


The keeper was quite nice about it
He said "What a nasty mishap
Are you sure it's your boy he's eaten?"
Pa said "Am I sure? There's his cap!"
The manager had to be sent for
He came and he said "What's to do?"
Pa said "Yon lion's 'et Albert
And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too."


Then Mother said, "Right's right, young feller
I think it's a shame and a sin
For a lion to go and eat Albert
And after we've paid to come in."


The manager wanted no trouble
He took out his purse right away
Saying "How much to settle the matter?"
And Pa said "What do you usually pay?"


But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone
She said "No! someone's got to be summonsed"
So that was decided upon.
Then off they went to the Police Station
In front of the Magistrate chap
They told 'im what happened to Albert
And proved it by showing his cap.


The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.


At that Mother got proper blazing
"And thank you, sir, kindly," said she
"What waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy lions? Not me!"

Does anyone remember hearing this recited in a broad Lancashire(ish) accent by the late Stanley Holloway?

 
Now, I found it absolutely vital to recite this little ditty for you as Keith and I have just today come back from this self-same place. 
 
Blackpool, Lancashire, England.  The seaside town to beat all seaside towns.  Home of the "Kiss me quick" hat and the candy floss on a stick and draconian landladies.  The place where these ladies - proprietors of the Bed and Breakfast Boarding house - would, not all that long ago, enquire into your marital status before they let out a room to you and any chap you had in tow.  And you had to be married to THAT chap, not some other one upon whom you were 'doing the dirty'!
 
Home of the Illuminations.  Has anyone outside England actually heard of Blackpool Illuminations?  I only ask because, you know, I was so very disappointed with them.  I didn't think there was anything earth-shatteringly beautiful about them or spectacular.  In case you don't know, I'm talking about a display of multi-coloured lights which runs the full length of the sea front.  They get switched on by some celebrity in September and switched off again early November - I suppose by the lights-switcher-off but perhaps they have another celeb.
 




Home of the Tower.  Blackpool Tower, not Eiffel Tower, though it is alleged to look like it.  That'll be if you look at it through your fingers, through half-closed eyelids, in a fading light!  But that's only the outside.  Keith wanted to go see a show which had its last night when we were there.  It was in the Tower Ballroom.  Now, this is so famous over here - specially if you're into dancing - that I can't imagine the rest of the world not knowing about it.  It is beautiful - almost indescribably beautiful.  Breathtaking.  The staff there were so helpful to me in my wheelchair and decided that I - a whole posse of us wheelchair users in fact - should visit the top of  the tower (or as near to it as the lift will take you).  We were treated like royalty, escorted to our tables as well as for the bird's-eye view from the top and then at the end escorted out again.

Strange isn't it how the negative sometimes begets the positive?  The first thing I noticed about Blackpool was that it looks very run-down, seedy even.  Worse than Cleethorpes, and that's saying something!  Then I saw how clean everywhere was.  No litter in the streets, not even in the early morning when you might expect it.  It could have been the origin of the term 'shabby chic'

And of course there were the shops.  I was surprised to find there a seriously good shopping centre;  places to eat, whether just a quick coffee and a bit of cake or a  special lunch;  everyone so kind and welcoming and helpful.

I'll go there again, although I was quite sure this would be my one and only!  And all just 2½ hours from home.  Roll on summer.



7 comments:

Andy said...

It is many years since I was last at Blackpool but I do seem to remember that the illuminations were quite good. They are probably best seen from an open top tram though. Yes it is quite a good shopping centre, people often forget that the residents of these resorts have to do there shopping somewhere. On reflection I do remember it to be a fairly clean town.
As for the Tower a few years ago Radio 2 used to broadcast a programme called The Organist entertains which quite often featured Reginald Dixon at the Tower organ, wonder why I retuned to another station!
Andy

StitchinByTheLake said...

Sounds like you had a fun time Angie - I would love to have been with you! blessings, marlene

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It does sound wonderful and yes I have heard about Blackpool, but not about all the rest. Glad you enjoyed it all. I love hearing and seeing about places I only read about in books. Thanks for sharing your trip!

Teacher's Pet said...

I love 'poor' li'l Albert. I had never read about Albert until I visited Eddie (Bluelight's) blog...and I fell in love with him.
Thank you for sharing about your trip to Blackpool. I've never heard of it.. Sounds like you had a lovely time.
Much love,
Jackie

Marie said...

So THAT'S where you've been! I was missing you!!! We were invited to go up to Blackpool for the Illuminations by a couple we befriended on our summer hols, the two Phils. Irish and as lovely as the day is long! He used to be the mayor of Blackpool. Sadly we have not been able to get away to go up there and as this next weekend is the last weekend of them, we won't be seeing them this year! I really wanted to go, not so much for the illuminations as for the spending of time with good friends. Oh well, hopefully soon. (You dare not go look at my page as there is a new dolly there, lol. A Christmas one complete with her own Teddy Bear.) Have had the week from hell at work but will save all the gory details for a telephone conversation. Love you loads dear friend! xxoo
PS Hello Keith, or should I say Mr. Angie. (you know you live in her shadow, she's so special to us all!)

Sage said...

You are right; I never heard of
Blackpool or of the Blackpool Illuminations. Love your ditty and the description of your weekend there; sounded like fun.I find at this stage in my life it's all about re discovering. Love your blog Angie.
Hugs,
Rita

Grammy Staffy said...

Oh my, that poem is awful...but funny. I am glad that you had a nice trip...another adventure. I hope that you are feeling well. I think of you often with best wishes. Have a great week.Hugs, Lura