Thursday, 28 July 2011

Those Places Thursday: Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset

Weston-Super-Mare was (and perhaps still is) the traditional summer haunt for many Bristolians, my family being no exception.  Both sides of the family were frequent visitors, and our photo albums bear testament to their love affair with the resort.  In my view, they should have dropped this particular love affair and found something a bit more attractive, but poor old Weston, cheap, tatty, but oh so convenient, just kept them coming back for more.  Shame!

So, what are Weston's attractions, besides a quick rail link to Bristol.  Well, it is beside the sea and at one time it was certainly a very elegant resort, with two (or was it three) attractive piers, steam boats, winter gardens, a lido and imposing beach front hotels.  In latter years, the steam boats stopped calling, all but one pier became derelict (and that one burnt down two years ago), the lido is closed and the hotels look rather elderly.  The beach is, of course, still there, but at low tide the sand gives way to miles of murky, smelly mud.

Still, happy memories!  Donkey rides, ice creams, my gran and Aunty Betty (fag in hand, of course) sitting in deckchairs in their summer frocks ALL day, breaking only for cups of tea.  The rush to the train station at the end of the day.  Visits to my other aunt, a nun, in the convent on the hill, where the nuns did a particularly good high tea.  Yummy!

Why, oh why, did I ruin the memories by visiting as an adult!  A couple of years ago my husband had business in Weston, so my daughter and I went too, thinking it would be a giggle.  Oh dear!  Incessant drizzle, no one on the beach, nothing to do.  We found a crazy golf course and spent the game desperately trying to distract our daughter from the man on top of the multi-storey car park behind us who was threatening suicide (she didn't notice, despite the police and ambulance presence).  So, Weston is now known as Weston-Super-Nightmare in our house.

Which just goes to show you can't relive your past - just treasure the memories.

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