Cleaning the Carousel and other Oddballs on Blackpool Pier

OddBalls on the Pier Just before the schools’ February half-term week’s holiday, there is feverish activity in our local seaside resorts.  The Showzam Street Festival will hit Blackpool again, the Pleasure Beach will open and everyone and everything will come out of hibernation. Cafés will put tables and chairs outside for those souls hardy enough to brave the elements (or who want a quick puff on a ciggy). But before all this can happen, there is some serious cleaning to be done. After the mid-term holiday, some amusements close down and then there’s a massive Spring Clean in time for Easter. Cleaning the carousels on one of the piers involved a man with a ladder, an orange bucket, a sponge and green Marigold gloves:     It’s a tough job testing the SkyDiver, but someone’s got to do it:   Mr HotDog has been dusted down:   With a bit of luck the sky will stay this blue for the rest of the holiday week, even though the temperature isn’t much above freezing when you factor in wind-chill:     To see a great selection of OddBall posts from fellow bloggers, why not head to Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge.

Roll up! Roll up! All the Fun of the Fair!

Blackpool, one of the seaside resorts on our Fylde coast, has not one, not two, but THREE piers. A walk along any of them in summer or winter is always a delight. In winter they are deserted with all the sideshows shuttered up, whilst in the holiday season they are ablaze with colour and general razzmatazz. This picture is of the prizes to be won at one of the many amusements on North Pier available to the holidaymakers and is my OddBall offering for Cee’s Challenge this week.  These prizes are quite large, by the way, with many of them bigger than a five-year old child. It is lovely to see families walking along the pier carrying one of these prizes, as proud as if it was an Olympic medal. What they do with them once they get home is up for debate. Maybe donate as a prize in a local raffle?  Then, perhaps the winner of that will donate again to a Christmas fair…and so on. Or perhaps the winners give them pride of place beside their TVs. Never having attempted to win one, I wouldn’t know.     This post links with another one “WOW! A Smile!”  showing […]

Wow! A Smile!

WOW!  Darts!  Score over 8 to win! I’m sure that’s not as easy as it sounds. If it were that simple, the stallholder would go out of business and Bully Bullseye wouldn’t be smiling as he’s be unemployed). All the fun of the fair on one of the piers in Blackpool, a local seaside resort. I hope my post for this week’s CFFC makes you smile……    

One-armed Bandit

WordPress Photo Challenge: Abstract When I was little I used to see these slot machines at the funfair at the seaside though I was never allowed to spend waste pocketmoney on them. My pals at primary school in Scotland spoke in knowledgeable terms about “playing the puggies” and it always sounded daring with a hint of the dark arts about it. This afternoon I’ve whiled away a good half hour reading screeds about fruit machines on Wikipedia and following loads of links (I’ve even found some for sale on eBay). The one I’ve pictured is in an old-fashioned Penny Arcade on Southport Pier where they have a great collection of old fairground amusements. You need to exchange a pound coin for real old pennies to play these machines and, in line with inflation, you get 10 old pennies for £1 instead of the 240 we got in the days of  “Pounds, Shilling and Pence“. But then in those days only a desperate addict would have spent a whole pound gambling.   A pier was first suggested in the 1840s but a company was not created until 1859. Work began the same year. Designed by James Brunlees, the 3600 foot pier opened in 1860. […]


In response to this week’s WordPress PhotoChallenge: Vibrant  

All the Fun of the Fair

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Vivid.” In late October 2013 I took delivery of a new camera, a Fuji x100s. I’d bought it so that I didn’t always have to cart round a backpack with DSLR, plus lenses, plus filters, plus ….you get the picture. My enthusiasm for photography had got me to the stage where I just had to have a camera with me at all times, which meant that every time I left the house I looked like I was off on an expedition, hence the Fuji purchase. It was already dark when the delivery man dropped off the parcel containing new toy, so all there was time for was a cursory skim through the manual (re how to attach strap and where to insert battery and memory card) and then off to the bright lights of Blackpool. As usual, was cold and windy on the pier that night and my hands were cold; my fingers were numb on the unfamiliar camera controls and putting on woolly gloves didn’t make it easier. I remember thinking that coming out on a night like that with a brand new camera wasn’t one of my better ideas […]

Broken Glass

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Broken.”

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