A veritable smorgasbord of East Coast misery (Day 2)

And so, onto a nice, sunny day 2. It was time to explore some of what Skegness had to offer.

The first stop would be the pier. As I mentioned yesterday, the B+B we stayed in was really close to the seafront. A single street away, in fact.

The scooter rally thing was in full swing by the time we got there, and a huge long row of scooters were parked along the front. I probably should have got a photo, but scooters don’t really interest me that much. instead, I got a photo of this amusingly named hotel…

I wonder if they had beef curtains… Ahem.

Onto the pier itself next. It’s funny, I live about a mile from the sea, yet I still chose to fill my phone up with pictures of exactly the same sea…

On the way back, I noticed this sign on the floor…

I said to Chris “I like the way that they put the ice cream sign on the floor so the dogs could read it”…

“Oh yeah, good idea that”, he replied. I don’t think he was really listening. I just shook my head.

Time for some breakfast next, and we went to the lesser known cousin of Harry Ramsden for some chips.

A bit pricey, but I guess that’s what you pay for in a seaside resort.

Of course, a trip to any seaside resort wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the arcades. It’s nice to see just how many of them had error messages on the screen…

I was not disappointed.



We also picked up some candy rock. Haven’t had any of that for years. Must admit I’m a bit partial to the old Aniseed flavour myself.

Time to hit the fine charity shops of Skeggy, then. The first one we went into was the Butterfly Hospice shop. I was quite amazed to find an actual decent pile of records. Every single one of them from the 80s / 90s, and unfortunately, every single one priced out of my range. The lady told another customer that a relative donated them, so they looked them up to see what they’re worth and priced them accordingly. NO, charity shops. NO. Stop doing this. If I wanted to pay whet something was worth, then I’d just get them off ebay / Discogs. Anyway, rant over.

Turns out there were more charity shops there than I’d imagined. None of them could change a tenner, meaning I was picking up maybe a quid’s worth of CDs and then having to pay with card. Wonder how much they got charged for that.

That was that for the charity shops in Skegness. Of course, there were other shops, including this one that seemed to just sell animals made out of resin

And that was that. We went back to the car, and headed to the nearby town of Boston. It’s about 25 miles south of Skeggy, but I’d been informed that it was possibly a good place for charity shops.

Despite it only being 25 miles, the fact that it’s all just one twisty road made it feel like 50. I don’t think my choice of music helped either. I’d exhausted the “good” songs on the way there (My Spotify favourites list), so I went through the Top 40. I can quite categorically say that today’s music is shocking. Luckily, Lincolnshire is very flat, so there were no cliffs for Chris to drive off.

We endured another brutal one-way system, and got parked up. Time for another two hours of charity shop mayhem.

While there was no shortage of CDs, three was a shortage of things to carry them in. Now that carrier bags actually have some monetary value, charity shops have stopped giving them out, and cleverly, I forgot to bring one, therefore most of the day was spent swapping CDs between us, Chris would hold onto the horde while I ferreted through the shelves of whichever charity shop we were in.

There was quite a considerable collection picked up from the last shop we were in (the name escapes me), only to find out they didn’t do carrier bags either. Aaargh, I could have screamed. Thankfully, the lovely lady behind the counter had a rummage (oo-er) and picked out one. It was the most effeminate looking bag you could have imagined (not quite as bad as the Guisborough bag), but it held CDs and was sturdy enough, so problem solved.

It was going onto 4PM at this point, and things were starting to close. We headed over to the “Boston Stump”, a huge spire. I don’t think anyone knows why it was called a stump, as there’s nothing stumpy about it.

There was one last stop, a clothes shop, as Chris wanted to pick up a shirt, and we arrived back at the car with about 15 minutes to spare.

We drove back a slightly longer, but more picturesque way. It added about 10 miles onto the journey, but it was better than the flat scenery of the journey there.

We arrived back probably about 5PM. Enough time for a bit of a sit down, and decide which eating establishment we were going to sully with our presence. Just along from the Indian restaurant we attended last night, was… Another Indian restaurant. This one was slightly cheaper, and arguably the nicest of the two, and the nicest naan bread I’ve had since the trip to Blackpool many, many years ago. The curry was nice and the beer was cold too. 10 points all round. If I had any complaints, it was a tad slow, but it was packed, and as the old saying goes “Good things come to those who wait”…

Onto the pubs. Now, it was still pretty busy thanks to the mod weekend that was continuing, so the majority of places were once again packed out. We even gave the Tipsy Cow a miss. We wanted to explore some of Skegness’s culture. there was only one place for it. And yes, I’m having to rely on Google Streetview for this one.

“Oh, Smithers! Let’s go slumming!”

We walked through the door. The bloke behind the glass cabinet / fishbowl asked us to sign in. Chris did the honours our names and the town we were from… “Remember to spell ‘Artlepool with a H”, I quipped wisely. Crickets chirped. The guy inside the fishbowl stared blankly. Well, I laughed.

Unfortunately, the Bingo was on. Now, I’m from such an upbringing to know that nothing, and I mean NOTHING interrupts bingo. We got a drink from the bar, and it felt like 120 sets of eyes were glaring at us. Chris went to the bog, came back and gestured there was another room to the side where there was no bingo! Hurrah! this room has even less atmosphere than the bingo room. There was a completely empty bar, the optics had been stripped clean. It didn’t look like anyone had stepped foot in there for a decade. At this point, I spied another room. Something with a bit more atmosphere. There was a games room! Praise the lord. 80s music, the sound of other people talking, and it looked like there was a darts match going on.

As we were in a games room, I suggested going to the bar, and asking if they had any dominoes. It was a bit tongue-in-cheek if I’m honest, but Chris did the honours, and I was a little more than surprised came back with a set. The games commenced. In the first couple of games, Chris laid a 5-2…. and I also laid a 5-2. Wait, what? Yeah, it turned out these particular dominoes had some duplicates. By the time we’d weeded them out, we were playing with a set of 21 dominoes…. and call be paranoid, but I’m sure that Chris memorised some of these, because he absolutely trounced me. Maybe he was seeing the reflection in my glasses? I will never know. We need a rematch with a full deck.

While this was going on, I was keeping my wonky eye on the pool tables. I’d not played for an exceedingly long time (6 months), so I was itching for a game. A group of teenagers had been hogging the tables for most of the night, but seeing as it must have been their first ever night out (they’d never had Jaegerbombs!), they lost interest in the pool table pretty quickly. I inserted my 3 20p pieces (that’s inflation for you!), and racked the balls up. I went to retrieve the white from the other end of the table, aaaaand nothing. Not only did the dominoes not have a full deck, the pool table didn’t have a cue ball. What type of insanity was this? Chris asked the guy behind the bar. “Oh, I’ve already given the white out”, basically saying we were shit-out-of-luck. Naaaaah, not having that. I went over and commandeered the cue ball off the other table, which was also now sitting vacant.

Halfway through the first match, the barman produced a cueball… Apparently, he’d given it to the people on the snooker table, thinking they wanted to play pool. Oh well, not that it matters. I lost the first rack of 2022, after potting the 8-ball in a particularly elaborate, yet unintended trickshot. Not only did I lose at dominoes, was I now going to lose at Pool?

No, I didn’t. The next two racks were convincingly wrapped up, and I ended up winning 2-1 before the 20p supply ran dry.

And that, as they say, was that. Time was pushing on by this point, and the afore-mentioned vindaloo and beer was giving me acid, so we headed back.

We walked back through the main room where the bingo had been held. The sound of clattering balls and 89 old ladies sinulatenously shouting “Fuck!” had been replaced by an Elvis “impersonator” in the loosest sense of the word. The spirit of Phoenix Nights is still alive and well.

This concluded our final night, and yes, once again, I couldn’t help but take a photo of the SOX lighting…

And while Skegness was over, there was still the journey home to enjoy. Would there be more charity shops?

Well, what do you think….?

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MercuryVapour

I'm a man of few words. Any questions?

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