Despite the sort of tired and worn look that Fleetwood has these days, I suppose I will always have fond memories of it that go way back to the mid 1960’s.
Fleetwood is the place I recall that I went to on my first school trip aged probably around six years old. At that time we were living in Preston and I suppose Fleetwood was an ideal place for primary school children to visit, just eight miles or so from the brash seaside town of Blackpool but much quieter and probably less likelihood of teachers losing one of their schoolchildren.
I recall buying a red and white plastic fishing trawler (bath toy) with the couple of shillings spends that I had from a kiosk type stall on the promenade. At that time Fleetwood was still quite a significant deep sea fishing port, but the rot had set in with the impact of the Icelandic cod wars, add to that the closure of the railway station (the Beeching cuts) and the cessation of the Isle of Man ferry and you had the ingredients of a town in decline.
There have been various initiatives since – a marina that has opened and closed in recent years and now a small shopping centre, but the whole place just seems quiet with only hints remaining of better bygone years.
I’ve only been back a couple of times in recent years – it’s alright for a walk and some sea air – but the Fylde coast just isn’t spectacular at all and so there are no great vistas to provide inspiration of any sort.
But if you want a quiet beach to enjoy the simple pleasure that small children get with a bucket and spade in the sand then Fleetwood does manage to tick a few boxes and yesterday when we took Daniel and Emma it did just that. They are too young to care about the better years that the town had – for them, a bucket, a spade, some building of sand castles and the collection of seas shells was just right.
A picnic lunch on the front added to the day and we finished off with some play in a local park somewhere in Cleveleys.
All in all a decent day out in the early spring sunshine and returning there with my grandchildren around 50 years or so after going there as a young boy had a feeling of completing the circle in some respects . Some pictures below and clicking the first one will open a scollable gallery