Author Topic: Food Glorious Food  (Read 826 times)

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Food Glorious Food
« on: October 17, 2010, 06:28:20 PM »
Food Glorious Food

What amazes me now about my visits to Blackpool during the 60's and 70's, was how much food we used to eat, and how the entire day was structured around mealtimes.

We always stayed in guesthouses, although they invariably had the name hotel emblazoned across the front.

The first one I can remember was on Hull Road and the proprietor was a Mrs Dobson. We went there 3 times a year - summer, autumn for the illuminations and then for Christmas. The last time we went there the business had been sold, and as we had booked to stay with Mrs Dobson, my family were quite annoyed at this, but it was customary for the outgoing proprietor too keep quiet about their departure as they had sold the entire business on, not just the bricks and mortar.

We didn't return to that guest house again, no matter how good the new lot were, it was never the same again, so we moved next door to stay with a Mrs Stone. We stayed here until she too retired, and then we moved south to stay at the Sunnybank Hotel, which was 5 doors down from the Manchester Hotel, our first "Hotel on the Front"! This is the one that I can really  remember, we stayed here from 1966 - 1973, when the Ropers decided to call it a day. From there we moved north again, and we stayed at the Cathmore guest house on Alfred Street. This was to be the last of the traditional guest house that we stayed at, but we remained here until Mrs Rawson retired following the death of her husband in 1988. It was very sad to walk along Alfred Street earlier this year and to see those former guest houses empty and boarded up!

You have to remember that in those day's Blackpool was incredible busy. Most guest houses opened their doors at Easter and remained open through 'till the end of the illuminations. Easter weekend would be incredibly busy, and then it was steady through to Spring Bank Holiday weekend, and then the main season began building towards the peak in July/August followed by the "lights". Although most places had been open and doing excellent business for 5 months already, the months of September and October were absolutely manic for the Blackpool landladies, having to cater for 2 sets of holiday makers each week of the illuminations, the Mon - Fri visitors and then the weekend coach parties. It must have been an exhausting time for the landladies and hoteliers, although I would imagine quite profitable!

Until we left the Sunnybank hotel in 1973, we used to book in for full board -" Breakfast, Dinner and Tea"!
When I look back, I just don't know how we managed to put away so much food;

Breakfast - 8.45

Cornflakes or grapefruit or porridge
Full English breakfast
Toast and Marmalade
Tea or Coffee

Dinner - 12.45

Main course  eg Roast Chicken, Creamed and Roast potatoes, sage and onion stuffing and 2 veg
Apple Pie and custard
Tea or coffee.

Tea - 4.45

Ham, tongue, chicken or salmon salad with bread and butter
Fruit and cream
selection of cakes
Tea or coffee

On  a couple of occasions during the week, the salad would be replaced by a hot meal of either a mixed grill or fish and chips with bread and butter.

Heaven knows how we ever managed to eat that amount of food, but we always seemed to manage it. By the time we moved to Alfred Street, the mid day meal was being phased out in favour of Breakfast and Evening Dinner. Unsurprisingly,when we were so used to the structure of returning to the guest house for lunch, this took a bit of getting used to, but within a couple of years we could not imagine how we ever coped with 3 meals a day.

There is one thing for sure though, you always got your moneys worth on a visit to Blackpool!!!
Always look for the positive.....