Andy Mitchell from Radio Wave

Feeding off all the memories

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 1:33 pm
BLACKPOOL HISTORICAL Josef Locke, who was appearing for the 1969 season at the Queens Theatre, pictured here opening the new Alpic Cash and Carry in Bispham - now the site of Sainsbury's.

I turned 56 this only seems five minutes we were out celebrating my half century.... 50 years without offending too many people, getting into trouble or falling over in Talbot Square. I remember saying then that it was just a number and I still feel 22 etc etc.

I’d been out shopping in town and bought a new suit for work. “You’ve gone up a waist size” says the current Mrs Mitchell, helpfully. Hmmm...well maybe I don’t have that 32 inch waistline I did in buy a size bigger ( just for comfort you understand)

The past is all around and I’m indebted to Debbie Rowlands who reminded me this week it’s five years since she set up the Bispham Past and Present Facebook page.

Debbie is also responsible for me being up at 3am discussing the finer points of Mr Hallam’s class of 1974 and the Alpic cash and carry on Red Bank Road.

But it is SO addictive. Everyone wants to put in their two pennyworth about life growing up in the village. For the record, Alpic, which my Mum dragged me around in 1970, used to stand on the site of what is now Sainsbury’s car park. Before that. It used to be a tram shed, and I’m pleased to report that only people much older than I will remember THAT bit.

I posted a photo of our class and suddenly people I never thought I’d ever see again wanted to chat. The delights of Pelham’s shoe shop on All Hallows Road led to a discussion about Margaret Pelham, who is famous because she had her photo taken with Andrea who was also starting her first day at Westcliff in 1960....oh the chatter went on and on....half past three in the morning and I was still gripped!

Then you start going through the modern day photos of the people you haven’t seen since they were 10 and quietly convincing yourself that you’ve aged better than they have. It wasn’t to be. All my old school mates from 40 years ago look terrific.

It seems everything you ever wanted in recreating the past is there at the click of a mouse. I do hope there isn’t a correlation between interest in local Facebook history sites and waist size, or I’ll be as big as a house by the time I’m 60.

Pictured: Irish tenor Josef Lock opens Alpic Cash and Carry in Bispham in 1969