What could have led to this, what could have possibly gone wrong? Here I am sat in the drivers seat with the wife and two daughters tucking into a Gregg’s steak bake.
I always feel a bit guilty eating Gregg’s, I sort of blame them for the decline in local bakeries and cake shops but truth be known I soon forgive when I bite into one of their little pastry pockets of of lukewarm loveliness.
The frankly miserable girl in Greggs had warned us “they are barely warm” so was right. Of course eating lukewarm savouries from a motorway services outside Lancaster was never part of the plan. The plan had been a grand one, to walk the length of the promenade, grab some tea and cake in a cafe, enjoy some cockles and the local specialities of potted shrimp. Look at the sculpture and statues, some great British fish and chips, perhaps a drink in the rotunda bar in the small but impressive Art Deco Midland hotel.
Of course the best laid plans and all that, in someways it is the microcosms of Morecambe itself, those well intentioned plans never quite hit the mark. I never encountered any seafood stalls, too many cafes either closed or excepting cash only. Our grand idea of fish and chips on the promenade scuppered by a well timed downpour that left us wet and miserable.
Perhaps the saddest thing is it is obvious attempts are being made to bring a change of fortune to Morecambe, the street art is entertaining, the promenade and stone jetty have been lovingly restored.
However is it enough to bring the tourists back? Is it enough to clear it of its reputation as one of the worst seaside destinations, well unfortunately, probably not.
In some ways Morecambe’s story reflects the same fate as a lot of English seaside towns, it simply became unfashionable as we became enticed by the lure of sun, sea and sangria. Was it quite as simple as the package holiday to Benidorm that did it in for Morecambe? The honest answer is yes and no. It didn’t help that’s for sure, but there’s more to the story than that, as we will discover.
So over the next few days we will take a closer look at Morecambe, stories of tragedy, human slavery, tomfoolery, treachery and Noel Edmonds, not all in the same story!
Story’s of gross negligence, stupidity yet hopefully stories of hope and regeneration.
Join me in the next few days as we take a closer look at Morecambe, a town that much like my trip to Greggs, never expected or planned to be in the place it is right now