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A Day Trip To Blackpool  
User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 16512 times:

Well, theres a first time for everything and this is my first trip report with pictures. Big grin

It was my birthday on March 14th and I had a spare Manx2.com freebie burning a hole in my pocket. So, I used a half day's holiday and some TOIL and took the day off. Booked a flight to Blackpool.

Nice early start. Up at 05.15 for a quick shower and some trough - well, a couple of yoghourts and a banana. Then down to the airport, parking my car in the executive car park because no one cares any more! Checked in with my wifes company who handle Manx2 with no problems. Then security. Ah, security. Bearing in mind I work on the airport and know these people, sometimes their anal retentive attitude really amazes me. Shoes off, belt off, coat off. All through the scanner along with my camera bag. Camera bag? Whats in there? Bugger me, it's a camera! Can you unpack it and send it through again? Certainly, I'd love to! Needless to say my thoughts did not reflect my actions and words - I actually wanted to get away today, not next week!

So, through to IOM departures and wait. We are due out at 07.25, the LBA flight at 07.40. So why did we follow the LBA flight out? Ah the wonders of modern air travel. Speaking of wonders, my flight was in Let-410 OK-UBA. First impressions on boarding - basic! Forget your contoured seats, your IFE, your cockpit doors. This is FLYING!! Oh, and forget your F/A too! Big grin

A board (for want of a better word) separates the pax from the crew, who can be seen working through either side. I didn't get a picture of this, I was too traumatised!  wink  Anyway, settled down for the flight, sat in the second single seat back from the front on the left (no seat numbers) and strapped in. Not for nothing is the lat called a Bouncy Castle!1 Wobbling in the non-existent wind as we taxiied out I thought it's a good job I don't get seasick!

Watched the LBA take off (Metro III - Has to be my next Manx2 experience!) And turned onto the runway. The engines wound up to screaming pitch and he let the brakes off. In seconds we leapt into the air and were climbing away over Castletown and hanging a left turn toward the Lancashire coast. I tried to take a couple of pictures and failed miserably. However, here's one attempt through the nice big windows.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/Inflight_1_DSC_0735_small.jpg

Only a short while and we were crossing over the coast just South of the Tower.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/InflightOverBlackpool_1_DSC_0741_sm.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/FlyingInOverTheTower_DSC_0743_1_sma.jpg

Shortly after we rumbled to a halt at the small terminal at Blackpool, between a Ryanair 737 and a jet2 737. God, that makes you feel REALLY small!!

Off the Rent-A-Wreck and through arrivals and bingo! Here I am in Blackpool. First things first, find a cashpoint, which I duly did. For some reason the UK won't accept good Manx money. Anyway, card in, select £30 and- Sorry, no £10 notes only £20's! Bugger, so, select £40 - and blow me if the SOB charged me £1.99 for the privelage! Nothing on the outside to say it's so. Won't make THAT mistake again! Robbing Bankers!

So, outside and a wander to the left brought me to some light aviation area which was spectacularly uninteresting. Retracing my steps and went back past the Terminal and toward the Off Shore terminal and the Emerald hangars. Couldn't see a blind thing! Totally disgruntled I decided to go into the great Metrolopse of Blackpool Town and see what was going down there.

Asking at the information desk I find there is a bus, route 11, which will take me to town, pick up outside the hairdressers across the road. None of your on the spot transport links here!! After trying to get on a number 11 going the wrong way I finally found myself on a singularly scruffy single decker, paying £1.50 (this is significant) heading toward the centre of town.

Alighting my charabanc on the Prom near the pier I was struck by the spectacular closed air that oozed around. Few pedestrians, little traffic - just like the Isle of man on a wet weekend really! Except the weather was bright and sunny, if a little nippy.

So, I took a couple of nondescript pictures and headed to the shops. Don't ask why, I just did.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/BlackpoolTrams_1_DSC_0752.jpg

After some desultory wandering I found a greasy spoon (well, actually quite a nice cafe really) and had breakfast - bacon, sausage, egg, mushrooms, tomato and toast, all for £3.95. Fully fortified I had another wander around before heading for the Promenade again. here I took some more pictures.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/BlackpoolTower_1_DSC_0762_small.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/HorseAndCart_1_DSC_0765_small.jpg

I think the geezer with the horse and cart was Myt322's Dad touting for business in his Taxi! Big grin

Anyway, I then headed back to the tower for an uplifting ride to the top. Which is easier said than done! After paying £7.95 entrance (no circus today, get a £1 off) I made my way, following the signs for "Top of Tower" lift. I knew this was a mistake once I went through a door and the sign pointed back the way I had come. In fact, on either side of the door signs pointed AT the door. So, I asked a keen looking chap who guided me through the Ballroom to the lift. I stopped on the way for a picture.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/TheWurlitzer_1_DSC_0772_small.jpg

For some reason the image of the Monty Python organist, totally starkers except for bow tie and shirt front came into my head. Shudder!!

Anyway, I finally made it to the top where I attempted to take pictures through the somewhat scratched and filthy windows. Going up a level I found a hole in the suicide fence (?) and managed to get one decent one.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/ViewFromTheTop_1_DSC_0775_small.jpg

After this excitement I made my way down again and after meandering through the Ballroom

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/TowerBallroomStage_1_DSC_0782_small.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/TowerBallroom_1_DSC_0784_small.jpg

and the Aquarium (loose description of a bunch of fishtanks collected together) I exited the building. Back to the same place I had brekkie, this time just a latte and a fruit scone.

Then another bus ride back to the Airport. I was getting withdrawl symptoms by now, not having taken an aircraft picture for hours! This time the journey (from the same stop I got off to the one I got on) cost me £1.30. Frequent traveller discount?

So, back at the Aerodrome I wandered around and snapped a few helicopters and stuff

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/G-BKXD_1_BLK_DSC_0812_small.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/G-BLEZ_1_BLK_DSC_0857_small.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/G-UHIH_1_BLK_DSC_0869_small.jpg

Had a long look at the sad sight of all the Emerald aircraft rotting away quietly . Amazingly, though, they had one running and taxiing to do engine runs, G-ORCP. Heartening to see one of the old 748's actually working. Made my way to Morrisons car park where I lingered a while with a couple of the local lads who gave the the lowdown on what happens there. Basically nothing much, but it was good to talk to another human being.

Finally i made my way back to the terminal and went to check in. When the check in CSA finally turned up (15 minutes late) I was first in the queue and found myself approaching the dreaded security. No shoes off this time but he wanted to see my ID with my boarding pass. Why on earth aren't ALL the bloody airports the same? Sheesh!

Anyway, soon into the Departure Lounge with a magnificent view over the (empty) ramp. Here, a cup of Latte costs £1.40 compared to £2.45 outside.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/EGNH_DepartureLounge_1_DSC_0886_sma.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/EGNH_DepartureGates_1_DSC_0887.jpg

While I sat there the old 748 taxiied back to the Emerald hanger after another ground run

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/G-ORCP_1_BLK_DSC_0893_small.jpg

Not long after my mighty flying steed also taxiied in

Which, for some reason, won't appear in picture form, so imagine a Let-410 taxiing ok?

This proceeded to park nicely positioned side on to the terminal. I was amazed when a man pulled a set of 737 boarding steps out! But, it was just so the fuel man could gain access to the overwing tank filler points on the wing. After watching the F/O refuel all four tanks I was amazed to see him go back and reopen them and put more fule in! Apparently the fuel guages don't work that well - comforting that!  wideeyed 

Well, we finally boarded as the last rays of the setting sun were glistening off the scrap bits scattered around the airport. As we taxiied out the pilot checked the brakes, putting the fear of God into the passengers as they groaned and creaked! Still, at least they worked!

After a short 25 minute flight I arrived back in the Isle of Man thoroughly tired but happy, having had a relaxing, different and stress free day.

Andy  old 


Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBA787 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 2596 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 16430 times:

Nice report, did you enjoy the ultra-modern Let-410 skiddy?

Suppose at your age it does feel ultra modern Big grin

Nice report, made me chuckle


User currently offlineDoor5Right From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 707 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 16339 times:

Nice report and pictures, Mr. Skidmarks.

That picture of the engine has a slightly oily and dented look to it!

Did you not pause and have a dance with all those dancers in the Ballroom - or would Mrs. Skidmarks have disapproved!



My soul is in the sky...
User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 16334 times:

Quoting Door5Right (Reply 2):
Did you not pause and have a dance with all those dancers in the Ballroom - or would Mrs. Skidmarks have disapproved!

Don't do dancing - letching is more my style! Big grin

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11645 posts, RR: 60
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 16265 times:

Quoting Skidmarks (Thread starter):
Camera bag? Whats in there? Bugger me, it's a camera!

 rotfl   rotfl  Well I'll never, learn something new every day!

Excellent report Andy, and even better it was free Wink I think one day soon I might have to try and get on one of their LETs, looks like quite a fun trip.

Hope things are going well regarding future jobs  Smile


Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineEK20 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 16203 times:

Where did you get off the bus? If you ask for a ticket into town (and not specifically the tower) the driver assumes you mean British Home Stores which is probably why you paid more.

Nice report though, gave me a chuckle too. You picked the best day (weather wise).


User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 16100 times:

Interesting report and nice pictures - Blackpool seems to have a very special, somehow old-fashioned athmosphere!

User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2900 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 15963 times:

A funnily-written report envolving a rare aircraft type. The Let-410 is an attraction that makes me want to plan my next visit to the IOM. Well, maybe later this year...

User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15949 times:

Nice report Andy  Wink

But, Blackpool?  no 




Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15948 times:

Blackpool Lee, Sin City of the North West - Tango, Foxtrot, you name it, you can get it here!!

And it was a free flight, dammit!! Big grin

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineIAH777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 0 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15941 times:

Were you able to take your walker as a carry-on?  old 

User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 15926 times:

Quoting IAH777 (Reply 10):
Were you able to take your walker as a carry-on?

Jealousy will get you nowhere little man!!  biting   biting   biting 

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineThePRGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 15926 times:

Quoting Skidmarks (Thread starter):
first trip report with pictures.

I didn't realise your slide scanner had arrived skiddy!

Thanks
Alex


User currently offlineMyt332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9112 posts, RR: 70
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 15867 times:

Quoting Skidmarks (Thread starter):
think the geezer with the horse and cart was Myt322's Dad touting for business in his Taxi!

Cheeky little git! Oh and it's not MYT322, it's MYT332.... 332, you know, like your age? Big grin

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y137/skiddyiom/Blackpool/EGNH_DepartureGates_1_DSC_0887.jpg

How many wheelchairs did you take with you?!

Funny report though, BLK is just a bemusing place in general I have to say! It's a bloody mission to find the lift to the top of the tower too eh? I felt your pain as I was reading, it brought back memories!

It's also embarrassing to note that BLK is actually my local airport being only 28 miles from my house where MAN is 35. D'oh! I've only flown from there once, but it was enough!



One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 14, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 15751 times:

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 9):
Blackpool Lee, Sin City of the North West - Tango, Foxtrot, you name it, you can get it here!!

Hah Big grin



Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 15551 times:

You made it sound like a really depressing day out, but what you did exceedingly well was remind me of how I felt in the UK last November, there is a pall of nothingness that hangs over parts of the country, it seems to sap ambition and destroy hope.

Maybe its because it never seems to get light, or maybe the winter has that feeling of hibernation, like everything is asleep.

It is uncanny how well your TR conjoured up that atmosphere, made me feel glad to be in NZ (not that I don't thank my lucky stars everyday!). Reading this was a truly weird experience but so REAL!! Bloody good effort for a "Person of Age"  Wink


User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 15502 times:

Good report, very enjoyable. Blackpool really is the biggest dump in the UK, it is so bloody depressing it is untrue - your images have just made me glad that I haven't gone there in about 5 years and I have no inclinations to go again!

I'll be flying from BLK myself next month so it was nice to look at your terminal pictures, doesn't look too bad - a bit of a comedown from MAN - rather BLK than LPL though!

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 15):
You made it sound like a really depressing day out, but what you did exceedingly well was remind me of how I felt in the UK last November, there is a pall of nothingness that hangs over parts of the country, it seems to sap ambition and destroy hope.

You couldn't be more right, I 110% agree with you. The Lake District is another miserable place.

Cheers
737


User currently offlineDaleaholic From UK - England, joined Oct 2005, 3207 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 15478 times:

Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 16):
The Lake District is another miserable place.

Nowt wrong with the Lake District!!! Well... I suppose we did have 8 crates of beer  scratchchin 

Excellent report skiddy... Not a bad day out i suppose for a free ticket!



Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 15456 times:

How could we have missed your birthday, Andy? A belated Happy Birthday.

An interesting report that had been laughing in places and excellent photos.

Blackpool makes the worst parts of Brighton look grand. It is all gloom and doom up there, living in a bygone age, kiss-me-quick hats, drunken chavs and lager louts, and cafes serving "High Teas"! But there is the Tower (older than NW's DC9s), Pleasure Beach (if severe turbulence is your idea of fun) and pubs/clubs that would be a trip to paradise for the young ones on a.net meets!



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineEK20 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 15453 times:

Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 16):
Blackpool really is the biggest dump in the UK



Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 16):
I haven't gone there in about 5 years

 

You haven't visited in 5 years but yet you know it's a dump...right. Blackpool like many towns has it's good and bad parts that's true but don't think it's any worse than other places. Blackpool still has many fantastic attractions. In fact only yesterday I was walking on the brand new multi-million pound promenade development at Cleveleys which is in the process of renewal. The first phase has already been completed with a new cinema there as well and it looks great.





So don't be so quick to judge. Look at that great view with the Cumbrian hills in the background.  

[Edited 2007-03-21 18:36:34]

User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 15404 times:

EK20, You working for the tourist board or something? If so your Blackpool tourist pledge hasn't worked for me, maybe you're just annoyed that your town was so great you lost the casino to Manchester, eh?

Quoting EK20 (Reply 19):
Blackpool still has many fantastic attractions.

Name one except the tower (even that isn't much of an attraction); the sewerage clanged sea doesn't count.

Blackpool is a miserable town that is pathetically stuck in the 70s in my opinion and many others and before you shout me down BCAL said roughly the same thing as me just above your post.

However, this is someone's trip report which shouldn't be turned to "your opinion on Blackpool thread", so there is no point continuing this debate.

737


User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 15290 times:

Quoting Myt332 (Reply 13):

It's also embarrassing to note that BLK is actually my local airport being only 28 miles from my house where MAN is 35. D'oh! I've only flown from there once, but it was enough!

Ditto

Quoting Ryanair737 (Reply 16):
Good report, very enjoyable. Blackpool really is the biggest dump in the UK, it is so bloody depressing it is untrue - your images have just made me glad that I haven't gone there in about 5 years and I have no inclinations to go again!

Could be worse, it could be Morecambe...

Got to love the Let 410 takeoffs and landings!



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