The Tears of a Clown

Now if there's a smile upon my face…

Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire

It’s summer time and thoughts, somewhat forlornly of late due to the inclement weather, go to past times driving to the beach. In my case that’s a two-hour and eighty-mile drive to the nearest coastline in Lincolnshire. I came across a discussion recently about Mablethorpe, an older resort which is around twenty miles north up the coast from better-known Skegness. It brought back a few memories and also a few thoughts.

I always quite like the idea of Mablethorpe and nearly always when I visit the Lincolnshire coast for the day go to nearby Sutton on Sea just a couple of miles down the coast.

Perhaps during the day, especially if the weather is disinclined towards sitting on the beach, I’ll walk up to ‘Mabo’, either via the prom or on the sand, and have a look around.

mablethorpe

Mablethorpe promenade

I always kind of want to remember it as it was when I was a kid first encountering it – or even a teenager – but apart from myself as the observer, obviously changing and getting older, it invariably disappoints me. This is not so much a criticism of Mablethorpe as I have a lot of fondness for it, but I always imagine how it could be with its natural assets – its potential. What I appear to see though are endless tat shops et al.

One thing we can’t change is the UK weather and of course that has become a huge factor for the likes of such home-based resorts but nothing ever really changes or gets updated, with a few exceptions, in the likes of Mablethorpe. Of course, part of its ‘charm’ are the traditional donkey rides, amusement arcades, fish and chips etc but if you’re not interested in that side of things you begin to struggle a little. You can get a very decent plate of fish and chips in the area but how many places serve up a decent dinner otherwise for example? I’m sure there are a few places if you know where to go but as an occasional and formerly regular visitor I wouldn’t know where to find that.

I’d always applaud any attempts to fire a bit of life into the old resorts because I find it very sad to compare them with how they used to be in the cases of smaller towns like Mablethorpe. I see though, little change from what they were offering to people when I was a kid. New initiatives such as facilities and businesses tend to be a bit lowbrow and of poor quality – stuff that wouldn’t appeal to you that much back in Nottingham in my case, or wherever you live.

It’s probably largely an investment issue but I’d welcome a little bit more up to date and imaginative thinking in these old places. I think they could do a lot more.

As I say, it’s definitely not a knock on Mablethorpe and the like, I truly have quite a bit of affection for these places, but I’d like to see them offer a bit more in 2012 and onwards as I’d very much like them to prosper as best as possible.

In the meantime, my occasional East Coast jaunts will remain at quieter Sutton (outwith visits to the Yorkshire coast). It remain an unassuming little place that’s decent, civilised and reasonably unspoilt, and like Mablethorpe, boasts a magnificent beach.

July 12, 2012 - Posted by | On The Road | , ,

4 Comments »

  1. I lived in Mablethorpe up until I was about 21 when I moved down to East Sussex. i have lived in Nottingham for about twenty years now. Some things have changed there – a few new buildings, the promenade appears to have been improved but. . .You are correct – the prevalence of “tat” shops is quite an embarrasment. It truly is awful and I don’t remember there being some many when I lived there – especially when I was younger.

    As you say the beach is splendid and it really could be so much better.

    I enjoy the blog.

    Best wishes.

    Peter

    Comment by Peter | July 12, 2012

  2. Thanks very much for your comments and kind words, Peter. As you can see, it’s no wish of mine to ‘trash’ Mablethorpe – I hope for better from that part of the world one day. It’s good to hear from someone who has lived there owning similar sentiments.

    Comment by Stuart | July 12, 2012

  3. I used to get dragged up to Mablethorpe virtually every other weekend during my early teens as my folks owned a static caravan there. I used to hate it. The beach is good but there’s only so much you can do on a beach. I used to spend most of my time hanging round the arcades, eking out my money on the space invaders.

    Anyway, enough of my offloading. I think Hunstanton is nicer in terms of scenery and has a bit less tat in my experience, or you go to ‘Skeggeh’ for the full on tat and ‘Kiss me Quick’ hat magnificence. I think Mablethorpe gets caught between the two stools.

    Comment by Andy (@NCCLols) | July 13, 2012

  4. Cheers for dropping by and leaving the interesting comments, Andy. I could see how such a place could be a bit dull for a lad of that ‘inbetween’ age. Agree that there’s not so much to do after the beach (and to be fair it is a very nice beach) – especially that doesn’t cost money i.e. arcades etc.

    Not been to Norfolk in a long while and Hunstanton always seems to come well recommended. Probably well worth the extra half an hour or whatever it is drive from the East Midlands.

    Comment by Stuart | July 13, 2012


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