BB1803 : Oh! I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside!

Thursday 1st February 2018

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside!
I do like to be beside the sea!
I do like to stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom!
Where the brass bands play, "Tiddely-om-pom-pom!"

Grange-over-Sands.  Back to a by-gone age.  Edwardian elegance and a long promenade for us to stroll along.  

Plus a rather less elegant item on the other side of the bay.

We parked our charabancs near the golf club and set off for the sea front promenade.  An unexpected encounter then occurred.  On the bridge over the railway was a man with a long-lens camera.  He was a trainspotter of mature age (i.e. Barbour and beer belly rather than anorak and pimples) who informed us that today’s passenger train to Barrow-in-Furness was to be pulled by diesel number 37402 which was over 50 years old.

Now, when I were a lad, we were rather sniffy about diesels.  We wanted STEAM. However there was something touching about the impoverishment of the local railway company leading to antique engines being used and so, for the next few minutes, the years rolled back and we (or at least I) reverted to our youth in a sort of muted excitement.  Oh, where was my Ian Allen abc British Railway Locomotives Combined Volume book, price 10'6, when I needed it?

I don’t know whether it was the excitement of the passing engine or the labour of having walked at least 400 yards but someone decided that we needed a coffee. And cake.  So we dived into the Hazlemere cafe and bakery in the parade.

Revived, we strolled through the park.....

..... back to the front and along past the abandoned outdoor swimming pool.....

..... to the very end of the Prom, Prom, Prom.  

Sadly, there was no Tiddely-om-pom-pom as the bandstand in Grange is at the top end of the Park Road Gardens.  Nor could we see Blackpool Tower or hear the ghostly tones of Reginald Dixon playing his signature tune on the Tower organ.

However, back up in the town was the legendary Higginson's Pie Shop.

And Mr Higginson himself.  A pal of James of course.



If you look carefully, you can see Tony checking his change.

We made our selections then climbed up by the Clock Tower to some benches kindly monitored by the local seagulls so that they could assist us with the pies should they prove too much for us.

It was there where we parted..… careful, I’m in danger of slipping into the wrong song.  However, it was there that we parted.  Mike and Terry were off to a pop concert in Manchester, seeking to regain their lost youth, whilst Martin is on the recuperation trail following his illness. James, Tony and I were left to maintain the honour of the BOOTboys by climbing up to the Hospice on Hampsfell.  

The views were good but there was a bitter north wind blowing so we didn’t linger on the top.  If you want to know more about the Hospice and its unusual interior, see RODODAKTULOS HWZ.

We returned through the woods and into the grounds of the Grange Hotel, of which James had once been the proprietor.  Inevitably he found several old pals with whom to renew acquaintance.  Meanwhile Tony and I marvelled at the stone lions, one of which bears a remarkable resemblance to someone we know.  Then it was back to the Prom Prom Prom.  

It had been a splendid day, the nature of which (or at least its first half) is the sort of outing that Tony would like to be a regular feature.  As James drove his sharra home, I could hear Tony singing to himself in the back of the car:

So just let me be beside the seaside!
I'll be beside myself with glee
and there's lots of girls beside,
I should like to be beside, beside the seaside,
beside the sea!

Don, Thursday 1st February 2018

For our younger readers I should explain that I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside! was a popular British music hall song made famous by Mark Sheridan who recorded it in 1909.  It was later used by Reginald Dixon, the Blackpool Tower organist, as his signature  tune.



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Guy W commented:

We, that is two ‘oldies’ with a not quite 2 year old, were also Promenading on Thursday and watched the 50 year old roar past. We were a couple of hundred yards west of you, it seems. But, did you not then see the tidal bore roar past as well?  Maybe by then you were already studying pies? First time I have seen the bore. Very impressive!

Guy, thanks for getting in touch. I have seen the bore many times and of varying degrees of impressiveness but only from the Arnside side of the estuary.  We didn’t see it on Thursday, I think we must have been studying vanilla slices at the time.  When we returned to the prom we did notice that the tide seemed to have come in very quickly and was rather high. I hadn't thought to check the tide table but with it being full moon the bore would be a big one. Don

Comitibus : Tony, Terry, Mike, Martin, James

Map: OS 1:25k



BB1803 : I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside


Thursday 1st February 2018


Grange-over-Sands, Hampsfell

Distance in miles:

6.9 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

1,350 (OMN / OS 1:25k)


Don, James, Martin, Mike, Terry, Tony

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