Saturday, 11 October 2008

Scotchmen's Paradise

Not only did these guys come from north of the border, but they were definitely Scotchmen and not just Scotsmen, they were pickled in the stuff. Striking a match near their lips constituted a grave risk of explosion!

In the 1960s, before foreign holidays became the norm, they used to decend in hordes on Whitley Bay every summer and take over the town. All the pubs were full and the promenades were heaving with drunken humanity. Special re-inforcements had to be shipped in by Newcastle City Police, six-foot "flathats" who stood no nonsense. The local lads, if they had any sense, migrated to other towns for their nights out and the girls.....well, they donned their best frocks and lived dangerously!

Yesterday I went over the river to see how things are nowadays in the once-popular resort. It was very sad. The pubs were virtually deserted, despite the fact that it was a Friday night. The old haunts like the Spanish City fairground (see pic) were closed and "under redevelopment". No more rough romances will be sparked off by a ride on the Waltzer, tough dudes sitting unconcerned without holding on as it whirled round madly.

The dance halls and cinemas, like the one pictured here, where local lasses trapped the holidaymakers (and their holiday pay) are crumbling ruins.

Oh Sunny Spain, you've got a lot to answer for!!

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