Blackpool

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We spent the afternoon in Blackpool on Saturday hoping to catch Blackpool’s annual urban art festival, Sand Sea and Spray. We caught it last year & it was pretty spectacular, 40 artists from four continents painting live across the town.

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Anyway it wasn’t to be. After a lazy ice-cream we took a slow stroll to the top of North Pier only to discover a chap on a Wurlitzer and a gaggle of grannies soaking up the mid afternoon sun. There was no sign of any canvases or spray cans, it looked like the festival wasn’t on after all. It seemed odd, I was sure I had got the dates right.

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We headed down the promenade, just beyond Central Pier and decided to make sandcastles and take a paddle instead. We whiled away the hours splashing in the sea until a bag of fish and chips beckoned us back to the bustle of Blackpool town centre.

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As we sat on the seafront steps, watching the grey clouds close in, I thought about holidaymakers in past times, people who had made this journey to the coast for a paddle a hundred or so years ago. I tried to imagine families and groups of friends walking arm in arm down the promenade, taking in the sea air. There is something theraputic being by the sea, listening to the waves and breathing in the air. I guess they felt that too. Sometimes I miss living by the coast.

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The following day I thought I’d find out whether I had got the dates wrong. It turned out I hadn’t, the festival had been cancelled as the organiser, Robin Ross, had been quite poorly for the past few months. He is confident that the festival will go ahead next year. I hope he makes a speedy recovery, without him and the artists he invited there wouldn’t be such inspiring artwork dotted about Blackpool, I’d be left looking for shells and watching the black-backed gulls. Hope he gets well soon.

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