Dec 12, 2011

Blackpool by Night

by Rachel Stevenson


Unlike the supertrams in other British cities, Blackpool's trams are not uniform; there are old ones, new ones, red ones, yellow ones, green ones, single decker, double decker, 1930s heritage cars, but they come together to form a transport system.

The town is crowded full of folk taking advantage of the early Autumn sunshine. Residents of Yorkshire and Lancashire put away their imagined grievances for a go on the shooting range and Danelaw descendants queue with Italian tourists for the “Valhalla” Norse-themed ride at the Pleasure Beach. People leaving the theme park offer new arrivals their polythene rain capes for the wet rides -- the spirit of the Rochester Co-operative movement lives on.

Later, the town shines up as the illuminations comes on. Muslims in traditional dress stroll along the promenade, mixing with kids out too late, and hen and stag parties that started twelve hours ago. Hens are dressed as fairies, construction workers, characters from Alice in Wonderland, whilst a man in a frock, separated from his fellow stags, stands forlornly outside of a pub. A woman yells: "Does anyone want this melted slushie?" An elderly lady wheels two Scotty dogs in a shopping trolley. Amanda and Rory pass us; she has his name tattooed on the back of her neck, he has hers. Horses trot up and down the road, some are traditional pony and traps, but others pull pink Cinderella carriages.

The air smells of marijuana and manure, sugar and vinegar. All day and night, people eat candy floss, chips, donuts, rock shaped like bacon and eggs or parts of the anatomy. A tram dressed as a ship sails past and when it beeps its horn, it's not the poot-poot of a tram but the parp of an ocean liner. The top of the tower lights flicker on and off, lighting the town green, purple, pink, white, blue, yellow, red; the colours mingle to form a magical sheen.

Love Noir 1 | Ice Cream Man

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