Out There column: Seaside towns do have their quirky charms

Donkeys on one of Blackpool's beaches seen from South Pier.
Donkeys on one of Blackpool's beaches seen from South Pier.

You wouldn’t have thought it was possible to get sunburn in March but that’s exactly what happened on Sunday.

As it was such a bright and sunny day, we took Mark’s mum Linda for a Mother’s Day walk along the seafront at Blackpool.

When we arrived at Stargate near the Pleasure Beach there was a bit of sea mist but when it cleared the powerful sun started to turn our cheeks an unseasonable scarlet.

Some people like to sneer at seaside towns such as Blackpool and Morecambe but I love their quirky charms.

Mark did his photography degree in Blackpool so we return there quite often to go for walks and take photographs.

We were amused to see people paddling in the sea and tattooed men with their tops of at the first sight of sun.

What is it about some members of the male species that makes them want to reveal their flabby white torsos at every possible opportunity?

Near the beach at Stargate we saw that the entire Pontin’s site had been cleared.

I have not-so-fond childhood memories of staying at Pontin’s in Blackpool. We’d travel down from Edinburgh and stay for the October holidays.

It was a kind of hell on earth to stay at Pontin’s in October.

The paper-thin walls of the chalets were no barrier against the freezing winds that swept in from the Irish Sea.

There always seemed to be huge pools of water everywhere and the night-time entertainment consisted of a man in a moth-eaten gorilla suit chasing small children around the club house.

We’d also have to go for walks along the empty beach where desert-like sandstorms made it impossible to see for more than a couple of metres.

The only saving grace was that we’d be presented with a ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hat or dog lead (sans dog) to take home.

Thankfully there were no freezing winds on Sunday so we were able to sit on the steps by the beach and eat ice-creams. Children were enjoying donkey rides and making sandcastles.

It was a perfect spring day and hopefully a sign of a hot summer to come.