Blackpool Skyline

Blackpool Rocks

by By Ian Joynes

Fun girls night in Blackpool has a surprise in store for one lady...

Julie was miffed, well probably more livid than miffed. Her husband Paul was going to be away playing golf again, all weekend. ‘A tournament that he couldn’t possibly get out of’ he’d said. ‘Really?’ As if that wasn’t bad enough, he’d be missing her 42nd birthday too.

He’d promised to make it up to her afterwards, when he got back, but had she really slipped that far down his list of priorities? She was sure he wasn’t having an affair; Paul just wasn’t the type. No, she could trust him implicitly, but boy was she going to milk it if he didn’t surprise her with something expensive. Rather than sulk, she decided on a weekend away in Blackpool with best friends Diane and Bernie instead. An opportunity for some proper girlie fun together, a chance to properly let their hair down and relive some of their lost youth. She’d probably have far more fun without him anyway. The three of them had travelled down together in Bernie’s crumbling Ford Fiesta, their voices hoarse from coaxing it the last half mile to the overnight pay and display area, where it finally gave up the ghost.


“Don’t worry,” Bernie assured them, turning off the ignition. ‘It always sounds like that after a long run out. It’ll be fine again tomorrow when the engine’s cooled back down.’It wasn’t a luxurious hotel that they checked into, but it was relatively cheap, clean and close to the seafront, ticking all the right boxes for them with adjoining rooms. Julie threw her case onto the bed and poured them each a glass of sparkling wine from the mini-bar. “Do you realise how much that costs?” Bernie shrieked looking at the price-list. “We could easily have stayed here an extra night for that.”  Julie grinned, but was in no mood to cut costs, for she was here to party, and party hard. “Hang the expense,” she giggled. “This is going to get us all in the mood. Bottoms up girls!” Glasses empty, and in fits of laughter, they made their way downstairs to hand in the room keys at reception. Julie was already several steps ahead of them, flirting with the manager, as Diane and Bernie caught up, having stopped to adjust their hair and short hemmed party frocks on the way down.

“We don’t take enough time out to do things like this, do we?” Diane sighed wistfully.


By now it was late afternoon, and there was already a pulsing party vibe in the air as they joined the bustling street outside, where almost immediately they were cajoled into a horse and trap ride to the top pier, where they arrived like princesses at the bright lights and sounds of the shove-penny arcade. For a few minutes they were like millionaires, meandering around the vibrant machines, feverishly feeding the hungry slots with their overflowing cups of change. But before long they were penniless again, making their way to the end of the pier, where they took a few moments staring out to sea. Listening to the waves buffering the rusting metal stanchions beneath them, it was a calming, welcoming lull in frivolities.

“It’s so good to get together like this”, Julie reflected, her locks of blonde hair blowing in the salty sea breeze. ‘I’m lucky to have such good friends as you two.’They both smiled and nodded in agreement. “We don’t take enough time out to do things like this, do we?” Diane sighed wistfully. “We’re all so tied up with our day-to-day lives, looking after our families. We should get away more often. “Let’s go check out the Pleasure Beach”, Bernie pointed, snatching them each a candy floss and kiss-me-quick hat as they left the boards and crossed over the road. “I dare you both to come on the big roller-coaster with me,”she urged.

“No way am I getting on that,” Diane squealed, craning her neck up at the foreboding structure dominating the skyline way above their heads. But against her better judgement, she was soon being strapped in and holding on for dear life, screaming hysterically, pleading for the gravity-defying experience to stop. Pumped with adrenaline, they finally disembarked with doddery and trembling legs, looking instead the worse for wear. “I need to sit down,” Julie gasped, plonking herself on a nearby bench. ‘’I keep forgetting I’m not as young as I used to be.” “Don’t forget I’ve booked tickets for the drag show for later,’ Bernie reminded us. ‘It starts in an hour or so; we’d better start making our way there soon. You can have a proper sit down then.” Turning dusk, it was a beautiful walk along the main street under the illuminations, the flashing neon lights everywhere around them.

“I’d like a volunteer,” she suddenly announced, walking over to their table.

Bernie handed in the tickets as they arrived, each feeling much calmer now as they were served drinks and shown to their table, where the lights suddenly dimmed, and the show promptly started. “My name’s Gloria”, the larger-than-life queen announced before entertaining them with a selection of risqué jokes, dancing and singing, leaving the three of them in fits of laughter. “I’d like a volunteer,” she suddenly announced, walking over to their table. “I hear there’s a birthday girl in the house this evening. Come with me, darling,” she beckoned, taking a reluctant Julie by the hand and leading her back up to the stage.

In an instant, she had Julie sat down with her eyes closed, parading around her until a large cloud of smoke enveloped them both. As the cloud cleared, Gloria was standing with her back to the audience, though as she turned around it was clear to everyone that it was no longer Gloria on stage, but someone else in her place. “Now open your eyes,” the queen in front of her grinned. “That’s my husband!”Julie screamed, much to everyone’s amazement. ‘What are you doing here, Paul?’ “Happy birthday Julie,” he announced proudly, presenting her with a large bouquet of flowers. “You didn’t really think I was going to miss your birthday, did you?”