long before our visit to the famous seaside resort, so the film was
still fresh in my mind. Also, the day before our departure, I'd acquired
the 2nd edition CORGI TOYS ASTON MARTIN DB5 diecast spy-car,
which I took with me on holiday. I'd purchased it in one of my local R.S.
McCOLL's, and although it was 1973, it was the original, '68 model in
the blister pack instead of a box. (Must've been old stock, I guess.
And, yes - I managed to replace it some time back.)
The difference between the newer version of the car and the
But I digress. Returning to the book, there are still bits I recall
So, here's to that long-ago holiday in Blackpool, and all the
Raymond Wallbank, who sadly died in 2010. He played on the North
Pier from 1965 to 1995, a period of 30 years in all. When I eventually get
around to re-reading the book, you can bet your boots I'll have another
hearty chuckle at the memory of Raymond's humorous and gentle
'remonstrance' on that sunny July afternoon back in 1973.
Incidentally, prior to that day on the North Pier, I'd thought that
the cry of "Cooooo-eeeee!" was a word only ever used in films or
comics, not in real life. After all, it wasn't actually a 'real' word used by
'real' people, was it? Or so I'd thought until that June or July day in Black-
pool back in 1973. As far as I can recall, that was the first, last and only
time I've ever heard it being used - outside, that is, of someone
perhaps using it in an affected manner for humorous effect.
We returned to Blackpool on holiday the next year, 1974, and
that was the last holiday I ever had - never been away since. My
parents returned several times over the decades, and may well have
sat on the North Pier listening to Raymond again on quite a few occa-
sions, but I did so only once. Odd to think that the initial shared family
experience was likely repeated, but without my presence. Strange
what passes through one's mind while reminiscing, eh?