Friday, August 17, 2007


Today is the end of the family’s holiday in Blackpool.

For our international readers, let me explain a bit about Blackpool (to which I have never been) …

was established as a tourist resort in the late 19th century. The textile mills of Lancashire would shut down for two weeks every summer for holidays and the mill-workers would travel some 40 miles to the seaside towns of the north-west coast of England, the biggest and most famous of which was Blackpool.

Three piers were built, the Blackpool Tower (a miniature Eiffel Tower) rose above the town and numerous amusement, catering (Fish and Chips) and boarding establishments were established.

In this era of cheap flights to warmer climes, the British seaside resort survives to varying success. I remember well having a seaside daytrip to Skegness on the Lincolnshire coast with the church youth group, at the age of 14, and, for the first (but not last time) getting roaringly drunk and singing the Sex Pistol’s “Anarchy in the UK” through the streets to the beach. Our Vicar, as well as the 20-year old of the youth group leader were very liberal (another post!).

Skegness, Southend, Southport, Morecambe. Margate

But Blackpool seems to have survived the “globalisation” of tourism and is the King of them all.

In 1999 Len Curtis (a local Blackpool businessman) whose daughter, Donna, died from cancer aged 20, in her memory and commemoration, established Donnas’ Dream House where families with very ill children can stay for a holiday for free. The house is made for kids – full of toys, the walls painted with cartoon characters – and Lucia tells me that they have recently opened a teenage room.

The visitors also receive free entry to various Blackpool attractions … so it seems they have had a full week …

Monday midday they arrived.

Tuesday: SeaLife Centre ( - a marine aquarium - Kezia was scared of the sharks, but Jaime loved it) and a Dr Who Exhibition (I gather Kezia was also scared – Daleks and Cybermen – I used to hide behind the sofa!).

Wednesday: the Zoo – Kezia and Jaime loved it.

Thursday: Blackpool Tower’s Circus – they loved it.

Thank you Len, thank you to the volunteers who have taken Kezia, Jaime and Nanda out-and-about! (Please pass on).

I don’t know what to say except you all have taken them into a magical world for a week, where the worry of Kezia’s illness has diminished a little bit for a little while before we get back into the drudgery of chemotherapy, hospital visits, standing at the bus-stop in the pouring rain, worrying about the bank balance etc etc.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very pleased to hear that they all had a good holiday. I hope Jaime got his birthday present.