Tuesday, 13 October 2015


Going to Blackpool on the 24th of October with my mate Michael Jayston. Charity signings and selling a few books.

I’ve always liked Blackpool. Years ago ago I narrated a series called Cine Memo, showing old personal films from before the 19th century up until the the 30’s. Extraordinary   
footage was found. Mostly in those days it was rich people had cine cameras. Loads of families on picnics posing in front of their gleaming cars.

Wakes Week was when Blackpool was full. Factories were closed for a fortnight and they all flooded in. The film that showed them was taken from the Big Boss’s camera.

The film that touched my heart, was a film shot in 1938 of young men and girls, in the sunshine, dancing along the promenade. Glorious, happy young faces and in a couple of years, those young men would be fighting a war. How many came back?

Memories include being driven up there by Sid James, his wife, my wife and me. We were filming Taxi along the seafront. Another time was taking Tom when he was about eight up to Blackpool to see Fulham playing a match. We stayed in a dodgy B&B, had an iffy Italian  meal. Next day Tom was sick but insisted that we go and get tickets for the match. He began to feel worse and we abandoned the game and came straight home. Fulham lost 1-0.

I’m sure when I go up there on the 24th, a lot of memories will come flooding back but none so more than that flickering image of those happy, optimistic young people danciing arm in arm along the promenade in the sunshine.