My friend Scott prefers the train to the bus, so todays walk started with us walking along the platform of Cleethorpes station and stepping down to the Promenade; a short walk from The Pier. It was sunny, with a very pleasant breeze and the people were out making the most of it. We were focused on getting a cup of tea however, so we largely ignored the sunbathers, paddlers, donkey riders and sand castle builders.
We spotted our first scooter parked up opposite the shed usually occupied by the chap who loans out deckchairs. Scooters would become something of a theme on our walk, but this was the only one I recall seeing on the Promenade around midday.
Scott posed for photographs beside the Pelican statue and the waterfall, then we headed up hill, walked passed the R.A.F Coastal Command memorial and onto Alexandra Road.
Beside the car park, outside the bank at the end of North Sea Lane, we found three more scooters, arranged in a triangle around a tree! A banner, draped across the front of the Royal Naval Association Club, suggested that a Northern Soul related event might have brought out the scooter riders for a long weekend at the seaside.
At the end of Sea View Street we turned in Cambridge Street. Twiggies Tea Room is a lovely place I discovered on my last walk around Cleethorpes. Tea Room is decorated with sepia photographs of “Herring Girls” and Dame Vera Lynn, for that vintage look, but the tea is the thing; it’s all about the tea.
Recharged from our tea we headed back up Sea View Street to Alexandra Road. The frequency of scooter sighting increased now and they could be heard from some way off; buzzing like bumblebees. We noticed that the flags from last weekends Armed Forces Day events were still hanging from the lampposts; flags including the White Ensign of the Royal Navy outside the Royal Naval Association Club.
Scott recommended the Seaways fish and chip shop, which has been recently refurbished, and we had our dinner “open” i.e in a tray with a sheet of brown paper underneath (I had haddock and chips and Scott went for a jumbo sausage).
We ate our dinner in The Pier Gardens in the company of a man who had modelled his hair and outfit on “The Mod Father” himself, Paul Weller, and had decorated the front of scooter with an impressive number of headlights and wing mirrors.
Scott wanted to go for a paddle and I didn’t, so he took off his shoes and waddled out as far as the end of The Pier and I walked along The Pier. Whilst he walked back up the beach I popped into The Pier, or the first time, and ordered half a pint of Tetley’s Smooth for me and half a pint of Carling for Scott. The interior is very well presented and it was very busy. Most of The Pier’s patrons had been driven inside by the wind, I assumed, but Scott and I were determined to make the most of the fresh air and sat at a picnic table with a view of the train station and the train we were just about to miss (not that we were in a hurry).
Off The Pier the scooter riders were still very much evidence, but they were joined by the land train, which had been decorated with flowers and an ornamental scare crow, someone towing a motorboat up the slip way and a kite flyer. Then, after a short walk along the beach and an encounter with three ladies riding horses, we headed back to the station and the train home.