|Blackpool Tower at night|
Judith is the mother of Simon, who we met, along with his wife Cassie on our first ski season trip to St Jean d’Aulps, near Avoriaz in France.
We now know Si and
Cassie well after two ski seasons of helping them on their chalet change-overs
and airport transfers and met Judith and her mother (Si’s grandma) on the few
occasions they visited while we were there. The name ‘grandma’ has stuck with
us since we only recently found out her name, but somehow, with her being 92
(or is it 96?), it seems appropriate. We had always promised to call in to
Blackpool to see them and all go to dance at the world famous Blackpool Tower
Ballroom and, as we were on our way down from Scotland to a housesit in London
it made a natural break on the way.
|Judith, grandma and Jackie outside the Grand Theatre, Blackpool|
|Illuminated trams on the front at Blackpool|
|Judith and Jackie outside Blackpool Tower|
|Grandma, Judith and Jackie in the Tower Ballroom|
- Opened in 1894 as a much smaller ballroom, but upgraded to its present design in 1899
- Badly damaged by fire in December 1956 during which the dance floor and restaurant below were completely destroyed, rebuilding taking two years and a cost of £500,000
- Phil Kelsall has played the famous Wurlitzer organ, that rises up from below the stage several times each day, since 1975
- Reginald Dixon is the most well-known Wurlitzer organ player in the ballroom, playing from 1930 until his retirement in 1969 (excluding a period in the RAF in WWII), plus one final performance in 1970 to mark 40 years at the Tower Ballroom
|The Tower Ballroom|
|That's Jackie and me on the floor|
|Brian with grandma|
For people who watch the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing the Tower holds a special place as it is the location of one of the shows each series, so we were dancing in their footsteps. It’s not easy getting tickets to see the show though, Judith who lives there has never succeeded in getting any and one couple we spoke to who also live in Blackpool and have an annual pass to the Ballroom, visiting two or three times every week also can’t get any. They told us that they even asked the organist, who they know well, if he could get them any and he told then that even he can’t get any!
Have a look at our Youtube video of our visit by clicking on this link: https://youtu.be/1ar-OiItCG8
|Phil Kelsall playing the Wurlitzer|
|Brian and Jackie with grandma|
|Inside the Winter Gardens|
|The bronze statue of Morecambe and Wise|
On Wednesday afternoon we left Alvechurch and drove to Hackney in London for the latest of our UK housesits. This one is for a border-terrier dog called Kasper and a free-flying cockatiel named Benjie and is for almost two weeks. Home owner Fenella was here to meet us and show us the routine for the house, Kasper and Benjie and the normal walking/exercise route for Kasper. She cooked for us, and we had a good chat over wine and dinner and on Thursday morning she left for her holiday in Athens, Greece for a bit of sunshine and to catch up with her daughter. The only other person in the house was lodger Dawn, a very busy person who rents a room while in London for work. We did meet her, but she keeps herself to herself and spends most time in her room. Today (Friday) is the start of her holiday and, this morning after finishing a few work emails she said goodbye and has headed off to Turkey.
|Jackie with Kasper on his walk|
|Running at top speed with his ball|
|Benjie on one of his pictures|
It’s really good to be finally relaxing here, although we’ve enjoyed catching up with people, it has been frenetic and the chance to relax is lovely. Kasper is asleep somewhere, Benjie is on top of the door preening himself and chirping, Jackie’s reading and occasionally dozing, I’m writing this, domestic bliss. Time for a cup of tea….
|Will he catch it?|
|Yes, got it!|