January Ramble – Blackpool Prom
During the extreme weather a year ago, we enjoyed a pleasant and quite challenging walk from St Annes to the Tower. This year we decided to repeat the experience, making the walk a little longer by starting from Fairhaven Lake.
Our party of nine, including the welcome appearance of the Top Brass, in the form of Helen and Colin and their dog, Basil, joined the coastal path around the lake where there seemed to be some excitement amongst the bird watchers. It appeared that a rare Red Neck Grebe had flown in to pose for photographs.
We were now heading due north into a bracing headwind, following the path towards St Anne’s Pier, where we briefly stopped to have a look at Les Dawson’s statue and then descended to the sands on our way to South Shore. This bit of sand is the best on the Fylde Coast. The high tide mark produced a collection of sea shells and Starfish and some expertly flown high-tech kites could be seen. Eventually, we climbed off the sands at Starr Gate and had a look at a recent feature here, the High Tide Organ. This instrument is a tower containing organ pipes, fed by air compressed by the incoming tide. This was our lunch stop. The council had kindly provided sheltered seats for us which we made the most of.
Last year, we had a look at the new tram shed that the council were constructing as part of the tramway modernization programme, which at that time was just a shell. Now, the building is almost complete and ready to accept the new fleet of trams, due next year.
Next it was the Pleasure Beach and the awesome drop of The Big One. (It’s great, honest!). The walk was completed to Central and the bus stop for our return to Fairhaven where Colin skilfully navigated the complexities of the local bus system.
Leaving the bus, we then had a short walk back to the Lake and the end of a pleasant stroll of seven and a half miles. It’s interesting to see Blackpool out of season and without the crowds.
As you will doubtless know, Janet and Jim are emigrating to the south to join the softies. This walk was, in fact, the last to be led by Jim, after thirteen years. During this time he and Janet have successfully prepared and led countless beautiful and interesting walks in all parts of the North-West for which we are all eternally grateful. We will have covered over one thousand miles in total, from the Lakes to the Dales and everywhere in between. No doubt the Ribble Valley will be replaced by the Thames Valley for future exploration. Job well done!!
Linda & Eddie Grange