I can’t believe it but on a cold winter’s morning I get mixed up again with a half-marathon run along the cycleway from Halton into Lancaster. Back in the summer I was in the mixt of a larger run, and it proved frustrating on the narrow paths.
So today I took an early opportunity to seek escape up the ramp onto the Lancaster Canal Aqueduct, over the Lune and into quiet countryside. Only the odd dog walkers were met before I disembarked onto the promenade leading around the Bay to Morecambe.
The Lakeland hills were in greyness, but there was an attractive brightness over towards Arnside Knott and Grange on the far side of the Kent estuary. The tide was well out with a lot more sand exposed than I’ve seen before. Wading birds followed the water’s edge but too far away to identify with the naked eye. I couldn’t work out if the scenes with the exposed sands appeared better or gloomier than usual, certainly they were in Winter mode.
The few promenaders with their dogs were well wrapped up in the cold weather. I was soon into town and past Eric’s statue. I was on a mission to have a closer look at the Winter Gardens building, temptingly described in one of Eunice’s recent posts.
Alas, it was all closed up as she had warned us, but I was hoping the café would be operating, but no. I was tempted by Brucciani’s next door, but I had no bike lock. I certainly wasn’t tempted by the noisy amusement arcade on the other side. Adversely this seemed to be the busiest place of the few open on the prom.
I was now wheeling by cycle along the pavements. The old station with its impressive frontage was next. Peeping inside there was a rather lacklustre Xmas fayre in progress. The room was presumably the old spacious waiting hall, in its heyday this station would have been extremely busy bringing tourists to the heart of Morecambe. ‘Bradford-by-the-Sea’. The new station is a bleak platform in an industrial waste – so much for thoughtful planning.
I wandered around the corner to the Festival Market, busier than the station, selling all things cheap and cheerfully. I knew a café inside where I could safely sit with my bike and watch the world go by. Most of the world in here seems to be obese, a sad reflection on deprived Northern areas? Levelling up is never going to catchup (brought up in PMQ today). The Eden project, if the government gives their share of finances, (brought up in PMQ today) would certainly help Morecambe to throw off its undeserved downtrodden reputation. It could have a lot to offer.
I was aware of that reputation as I cycled a particularly dingy rubbish strewn route out of town. There have been knife attacks here recently, and I have often observed druggy characters in the shadows. Nobody is immune from the social deprivations in our modern society. One can’t blame the immigrants, legal or otherwise for everything. We have too much home-grown crime already. There was an interesting article on Byline Times this week on how it felt to be an Albanian in the UK at the moment. I have tried to be objective, I like Morecambe, but there is an underbelly of seediness in the winter air.
Needless to say I was soon into Lancaster, over the Millennium Bridge and racing back to Halton passing the finish line of the half-marathon on the way. It felt good to be out on the bike again.
An interesting post BC though it looks very dull and grey there – I presume you went on Sunday?
When I replied to your comment on my blog post I didn’t realise you would think the cafe would be open even if the theatre was closed – the cafe is within the ground floor auditorium so doesn’t operate when the theatre is closed. I’ve amended my reply a little for the benefit of anyone else who may read it. I always go to Rita’s cafe on the corner next to the big shoe store – good cheap and cheerful food at cheap and cheerful prices.
I’ve another Morecambe post coming up tomorrow – very little writing, all pictures – and another Lancaster canal one next week then Morecambe-wise that’s it until next spring/summer as I never go there in winter.
A winter Sunday in Morecambe. I didn’t expect the Winter Garden café to be open.
Will look out for Rita next time.
I used to go there every year when I was a kid in the winter to see the lights. The funfair was terrifying, so much more ricketty than Blackpool.
Yes I always thought some of the rides were highly dangerous, especially for children.
No more illuminations either.
A cold day to be out, and glad you eventually managed to find a brew. That was a good article about Albanians in the UK. I like the Byline Times, some good in depth writing.
There is some controversy in Morecambe, as elsewhere, about Albanian ‘asylum seekers’ being accommodated in hotels. Britain actually takes very few refugees compared to other European countries who have a more open door policy.