Sunday 15th April 2018, 3.20pm (day 2,425)
Optimism in the face of bleakness. These are the qualities that have kept the British seaside going for many generations now.
After spending the last four days almost entirely at home, claustrophobia was definitively overcome by having a day out here. Looking rather different from its last appearance on the blog in August 2016, Llandudno was all built in the 1850s and 1860s as a massive piece of real estate speculation by landowner Lord Mostyn and architect Owen Williams. And I have to say, you can see their point.
Clare and Joe walking back from a visit to Clare’s gran — who certainly lives in the kind of place toward which grans seem to gravitate. This is the epitome of seaside suburbia in early December. Whatever you think of this photo, I like it because it’s just the pic I wanted to take when I pressed the shutter. We can ask for little more.
The title of the shot is as much aspiration as description. Today I am in Morecambe. Tomorrow, I will be over in the Lake District, on the other side of the Bay; the fells forming the horizon are (left to right) Dow Crag, Grey Friar and Coniston Old Man. Let’s have a week off work, somewhere beautiful. That’s a decent aspiration….
Well, my summer holiday hasn’t finished yet, so there’s scope yet for more of this kind of thing. I could say this is a typical English seaside scene, but actually we’re in Wales — Llandudno in fact. First impressions: it’s like Aberystwyth, but bigger and with lots more Liverpudlians.
Regency Square was first laid out in the early 1800s and was one of the first sea-front housing developments in Britain with social cachet; until that time the upper classes wouldn’t have dreamed of living near the sea, which was full of smelly fisherman types. But it was a success and became the template for many similar British seaside towns since.
What the Georgians would have made of the 450-feet-high tower that has sprung up at the end since last I was here, I have no idea. It’s nicely corporate, being sponsored by British Airways, for no immediately obvious reason, and is to become the “tallest moving observation platform in Europe”, or something. At least it will be until someone else builds a bigger one, which may turn out to be equally pointless and intrusive. I’m not a conservative — surely anyone following this blog can see that — so I’ll judge anything new on its merits. At the moment, I just can’t see that this has any.