Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blackpool Forever!

A fearful furore appears to have erupted on the Tory blogosphere over a decision by the party's board to return to Blackpool for its 2007 conference.

My days of attending party conferences are thankfully over, but I have to say I have a bit of a soft spot for what the Daily Telegraph's diarist calls the "tatty old Lancashire resort."

On my first visit there, in 1995, I stayed in a pub called The Empress. The room was a bit basic, but it stayed open till about 3am in the morning and served an excellent pint of Thwaites Bitter. Who could want more?

Mind you, not everyone felt the same. I remember one fellow hack,who is now a political editor on a national newspaper, being rather put out to find an incontinence mattress on the bed in his B&B.

I do agree with the general thrust of opinion that the Winter Gardens is an appalling venue, and it absolutely the case that however much money they spend on it, it will continue to smell of stale beer and tobacco, forever conjuring up in my mind the lost political era of "smoke-filled rooms" and "beer and sandwiches at No 10."

But the Imperial Hotel, by contrast, is a fantastic venue - the "No 10 bar" there is easily the best drinking hole in any of the regular conference venues and I have many happy memories of long story-getting evenings spent there.

I have far worse party conference memories of Brighton, which invariably became a complete security nightmare at conference time due to the need to seal-off the main road in front of the conference centre.

For some reason, I also seemed to get worse hangovers in Brighton as well. But that's another story.

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3 comments:

David Gladwin said...

You must have been drinking poncey Southern beer, mate!

media Scum said...

if it was a toss up between Thwaites of Blackburn - the main real ale to be found in (B)Lackpool - or Harvey's of Lewes - the main real ale in and around Brighton - it would be Harvey's any day - and that as someone from the N.E.

stalin's gran said...

Re hangovers - that's strange. Blackpool is enough to give you a hangover without alcohol....