Attila and Vlad go house-hunting…..

Well, we went to look at a gorgeous Victorian house last night in sunny Morecambe…perfect, perfect, perfect…..

Only problem is that we will need to rob a bank or win the lottery to get the deposit together……

Off to London tonight to speak VERY sweetly to Mummy and Daddy……..


11 Responses to “Attila and Vlad go house-hunting…..”

  1. Morecambe? Don’t forget to factor in the cost of travelling to university. And what about M________’s schooling? Won’t she have to change school – again?

    Of course, I’m biased against Morecambe because I think the only thing it has going for it is the Moot and the lovely people who attend it. It’s a terminally ill patient with no hope of resuscitation. I’m surprised you have to put down a deposit. So people really want to live there when they have any choice?

    Personally I think Lancaster is much nicer and has a lot more going for it – actually, it has everything going for it and Morecambe… has the one thing I mentioned. x

  2. Andy – I’m sorry you are being very unfair – the centre of Morecambe isn’t fantastic I’ll agree but there are nice areas as well as nasty ones just like any other town.

    I’m very fond of my home town but I’m well aware that it needs the serious investment being poured in to bring it back to life but things are changing slowly.

    As for Lancaster – its Ok if you can afford to live there – because of the University – house prices are very very high – We couldn’t afford to live in the type of house we have here in Morecambe – A 3 bed semi with 110 ft of Garden – It would be £40 -50,000 more than we paid even 18 months ago and prices have risen since. The centre of Lancaster becomes something very unpleasant in the evening at weekends – something I believe you’ve seen for yourself.

    The area we live in is quiet and pleasant and above all safe for the kids – I’m happy to let them walk around to the local shop, go play on the community centre field or walk to school and yes I chose to live here and would do so again if I had the choice.

  3. Hi Jo, you might think I’m being unfair but I’m being truthful. Morecambe isn’t a place which has much of a future until such time as money and jobs are put into it and that simply isn’t going to happen any time soon, something I think is wrong but there’s no will to change the situation. It’s not a tourist hotspot either, and hasn’t been so since at the latest the mid-1970s, not helped, again, by lack of financing as well as dire, old-fashioned ‘entertainments’ – current seafront, gambling dens, bookies, chip shops. Not a thing on that seafront speaks of 1980 let alone 2006. The only modern thing present is the phenomenon of hooded, aimless chavs wandering in intimidating packs of twelve to twenty. Hardly enticing.

    I can’t see how I’m being unfair with my words – they might be unpalatable but unfair? Show me the glittering career prospects, low unemployment, healthy vibrant community and prove me wrong because, believe me, I’m a Lancashire boy myself and I’d love to see some evidence beyond that of my own experience to date where Morecambe is concerned: a sadly neglected, unfortunately typical British seaside town stuck in a bygone age and with little to commend it.

    Lancaster, on the other hand, has much to offer the visitor in terms of tourist attractions, natural and architectural beauty and more. I agree it’s unpleasant in the centre on major drinking nights but that’s a national, rather than place-specific scourge. I’d feel safer with my boyfriend in Lancaster city centre at night than on Morecambe sea-front. Morecambe seafront has an ugly, despairing, vicious spirit about it; it’s as if the place has become vindictive and vengeful over the rejection it has suffered.

    I am aware that Lancaster gets all the money and Morecambe is the poor relative but while that provides explanation of the ‘unfair’ – meaning it isn’t unfair, but observationally correct – it doesn’t mean the visitor to either place is going to, or can be expected to, make allowances. I mean, a visitor to Morecambe doesn’t say ‘oh, it’d be a lovely place if…’. Instead, they simply go, ‘oh this is so depressing’.

    The statue of Eric isn’t enough to salvage the town. It takes money and jobs to do that. And I bet if you did a poll, 90 per cent of those kids living in the place and needing lives and entertainment would love to get out of there as fast as they can.

    I am sure there are nice ‘pockets’ – even Hell probably has its cooler, more pleasant corners – but pockets do not a coat make and neither do pockets make for a successful argument in favour of Morecambe being anything other than a town out of time, out of phase and out of luck. Could it be turned around? Absolutely. Will it be turned around? Highly unlikely. Do I think that’s wrong? Yes, I do. But please don’t accuse me of unfairness when I’m being honest and basing my opinion on not only recent visits to the town but visits going back to childhood. I’ve seen Morecambe’s demise down through the decades; it was unpleasant to witness. x

  4. I was chatting to David last night about this, and he made some really great points. First off, there’s no need for anyone to ‘defend’ Morecambe in this and neither are my views an ‘attack’ on Morecambe, either. They’d only be that if I was advocating it being bulldozed away and wiped off the map, ultimately, and my comments are always wrapped around the observation about money and opportunities not being provided. I want to see places like Morecambe revitalised as much as you do. And not just that, but inner-cities, too.

    Second, David made a very, very good point about Brighton. It’s the most successful seaside town in Britain and has had money pumped into it over 20 years now to make it so. It benefits from being southern, and close to London, but the fact that Brighton has not only been regenerated and revitalised but has also become a ‘des-res’ shows that with money and effort and willpower, seaside towns can be brought back to life. Isn’t there any kind of campaign group in Morecambe? If there isn’t, there should be.If they got some nice coffee shops, David was saying, along with some boutiques, solid entertainments for families and decent eateries on the seafront at Morecambe, it would be a start to building a better base for the local economy. And ban the bookies and gambling dens. You could keep the occasional chippie, though. 🙂 x

  5. When I said you were being unfair I meant because I don’t think you’ve actually looked at the Promenade – Actually there are no chippies on the seafront itself, neither are there any bookies – granted there are a few burger bars and a number of slot alleys but equally there is a brand new smoothie and juice bar just opened, there is also a deli, a bowling alley, a cinema, a large covered market, a skate-boarding park, and a number of cafes and resturants including a large and very successful Chinese resturant

    Add into this the recent purchase of the Winter Gardens by the Friends of the Winter Gardens which will mean the theatre being turned into a major venue once again fit for the 21st Century, the ongoing restoration of the Midland Hotel and numerous other projects in the pipeline including the regeneration project for the West End where the old boarding houses are being turned into proper homes for families – not for dole scum and drug addicts and the plans for rest of the old fairground site.

    Many places regenerate themselves when the surrounding areas become too expensive to live in – this has happened in South Manchester, many areas of London and is beginning to happen in Morecambe – Lancaster is far too expensive for the majority of first time buyers and young families even the 2-up 2-down terraces are selling for over £100,000 so people are choosing to buy in Morecambe.

    What is lacking yet is a vibrant economy – this point I agree with you completely – I cannot find a new job in the local area that can compete with my current salary so I have to travel out of the area every day which isn’t good for the environment or the local economy as often I do my shopping out of the area so I’m not spending locally.

    The Lancaster and Morecambe area is still far too reliant on the NHS and the Service industries for my liking – It needs a couple of really good strong employers to come into the area paying comparable salaries with the rest of the county and salary levels will start to rise – I wish I was in a position to start up my own company but I’m not – I don’t even have a good idea for a product

    There are areas along the prom that really really need a lick of paint and some (read alot) of tlc but Rome wasn’t built in a day – and as you say its taken Brighton 20 years to get where it is today and Brighton has the benefit of better weather and location as well as the important role the Pink pound has played in its regeneration.

    Morecambe is never going to be Brighton – Everyone is painfully aware of that – We know that one Eric Morecambe statue isn’t going to solve some of the very deep problems the area has and we need strong magnetic personalities campaigning on behalf of and governing the resort to really make a difference but bit by bit things are changing

  6. Well…..the more regeneration-minded people move to Morecambe and make it live again, the better.

    Hebden Bridge is another case in point. In the 70s it was dead on its feet, the srty-artisan pound has made it a desirable place to live. Whitby has used the power of the goth pund to rise from the ashes…….

    Maybe Morecambe is going to use the pagan pound???????? Bare, where the house is, actually has the little coffee shops and galleries that Andy talked about…..

    The thing for me is that you can actually see the sea from the bedroom windows of the house, and I think that there is going to be an all in fight to see who’s first to use our sauna!!!!!

  7. Hi Jo,

    That’s good news about the Winter Gardens. You’re right to make the observation that places regenerate themselves when surrounding areas become too expensive to live; that said, only occasionally, not always. Having once owned a flat in the only area of London I could afford to at at the time – Upton Park – I can tell you the influx of professionals seeking a first home did nothing to change the character of the place, which remained run-down and scummy. So I’d be hesitant to say it’s an economic law you reference but instead a hoped-for impact which may or may not materialise. Homes are one thing; infrastructure another.

    You reference no chippies on the front, point taken – although you only need to step off the main road just behind the front to find plenty. Bowling alleys, cinemas and skating parks, however, are a mixed-blessing in so far as these are usually great concrete institutions with limited and often expensive appeal. Unless you’re talking small cinema, the provision of those monolithic, plastic-peddling, blockbuster cinemas isn’t great news either for the look of a place or the economy as they tend to take more than they give in terms of staff wages. Same with bowling alleys on the wages front.

    To be honest, no I didn’t see any of those things but they would not have raised the bar because they’re more symptomatic of clone town developments than vibrant communities with their own character. Morecambe has its own character; it needs replenishing, not substituting with more contemporary fast food – Burger Hut drive-ins et al – or institutions you can find in nearly every large connurbation. Brighton became successful over the past 20 years by rediscovering and evolving its own identity – not by having an identikit one trucked in.

    I don’t think I was arguing for Morecambe to be another Brighton, but much the same methodologies and ideas can be applied – how to serve the established community, how to maintain the best and ditch the worst town characteristics, how to modernise without becoming samey but, instead, more individual. And the pink pound? Don’t fall for the media hype there. While Brighton has a huge gay community, it isn’t enough to float the town’s economy and the rebuilding of Brighton as a popular place to visit and live has not happened because of anything other than a comprehensive approach which includes all people. The ‘pink pound’ is not only a capitalist chimera, it is also very hard for anyone to prove that gay spending does any more good than anyone else’s money.

    I admire your passion for the town and, frankly, with that level of commitment and your obvious intelligence, I don’t see why you don’t consider standing as a counsellor, independent or whatever. I enjoy getting into good, meaty debate too – while veggie, I enjoy sinking my teeth and mind into a debate and this is a good one. You’ve certainly given me food for thought, continuing that metaphor, and I stick to the belief, resulting from reading what you wrote, that you may well be the kind of ‘magnetic personality’ needed to shake down the town and implement some initiatives there.

    Khlari: hello my friend! Um, welcome to your blog which has become a debating chamber, hehehe! I think the pagan and pink pounds do exist as such – ie pagans spend, gay people spend – but how much impact they have is debatable. Of course, pagans are said to have Glastonbury, gay people Brighton.

    A sauna? My gosh, madam, what are you renting? A palace, a health spa or a former brothel? Hehehe! Did you manage to apply to your parents successfully then? You mentioned in this blog post that you were talking to them. Hey, if you’re ever strapped on cash, with a sauna in your house, you could always become a REAL madam… I can see you now, all gothed-up, doing a Julie Walters/Cynthia Payne on the door…

    “Got yer luncheon vouchers? No vouchers, no entry!” :-))))))))

    (obligatory fag hanging from mouth at all times, of course – and bottle of something to hand!)

    Did you get the Picolata Review press release calling for submissions? Submit som work! Ya never know… xx

  8. Andy- i take into account that most of your points are correct but i can say from reading this debate and actually, (when i have been in the areas), looked at both Lancaster and Morecambe, seen that morecambe, i feel, has more things to do than in Lancaster in the way of entertainment and family activities. Being at the age of 17 i do know what there is to do for people my age in both areas, living in Morecambe and having plently of friends living in Lancaster. You talk about Morecambe being depressing, yes i most certainly agree that plently of parts in the West- End of Morecambe that i personally wouldn’t go to, yet living on Broadway (A main road down off the front), i feel safe to walk around this area at night a not worry too much about gangs and mobs, and this goes again for living in Bare in Morecambe. What you implied also cound be said about places in Lancaster, for example Ryelands or the marsh. need i say more….

    As for the seafront, i think that the government are trying their hardest to restore it!! some people are saying it is a little bit too late, but i have seen plantly more people walking down the prom since they have been putting the sand down on the “beach”. this may seem silly to you but i know many of my friends and their parents from Lancaster,who have not seen it for themselves, have asked me what it is like and have mentioned going to have a look. If this is not people taking an interest in Morecambe, i wouldn’t know what would be.

    Andy, you mention about Morecambe not really attracting tourists since the 1970’s, well i can totally prove this statement wrong! I work at the Broadway hotel as a part-time waitress and around 98% of the people staying in the hotel are tourist coming to Morecambe.Yes they may so be OAP’s or over 40. But they are still counted as tourist yes? Many people ask me “how can i get to the market?” must get this question every shift i work. Also many people who stay in the hotel have stayed here before. There must be something here that is bringing them back here Andy.

    You may think yes she is only 17 what would she know? But im am just picking out points that just seemed bloked from your head. Everything you say is just negitive and maybe you shoud just maybe take in some of the points Jo and I have mentioned and have a different outlook on things. You never know, you may start to like Morecambe.

    And as the sayin goes “NOTHING IS PERFECT”

  9. Hi Rachael, it doesn’t attract anywhere near the same level of tourists in terms of makeup. There are far more old people visiting Morecambe, far less families making it a holiday destination. Part of that is down to the rise in popularity and affordability of package holidays abroad. It’s true the hotels on the seafront are always busy but they are also hideously expensive for the one-off visitor who just drops in – we had to pay £70 for a double room which looked like it hadn’t been decorated since 1973 and the reason is the place is booked en masse by travel companies doing deals for the elderly, with prices for them working out as low as a fiver per person. So the slant is towards senior citizens and it’s simply not worth the money anyone else has to pay for what you get. The hotel was awful. Grubby, creaky… The headboard had two huge greasy Brylcreem marks.

    We stay with friends when we come over. Won’t ever stay in one of those hotels again. Maybe the big one that’s being rebuilt will be different but chances are the bulk buying by travel companies for senior citizens will keep the status quo slanted towards the elderly instead of providing same-priced accommodation for all. Sure, senior citizens are tourists – but they aren’t going to spend as much as younger families could if there were the things to appeal to them.

    I’ve changed my view somewhat, softened it, since this debate kicked off on Khlari’s blog. There are some beautiful houses in Morecambe, and some real dumps as well as ugly and wonderful scenery. It is a place of extremes, coming across as pockets of good and bad and lacking an overall single ‘personality’.

    I would never, ever think ‘she is only 17, what does she know’ – I knew a lot at 17 and would expect others to have the same potential but chances are you’ve heard it and expect it. Well, you’re not getting that said because it’s simply not something I’d think or write.

    I do object to ‘everything I say is just negative’ – by pointing out the negatives it seems some choose to be blind to them, others defend them while others say ‘yeah but as well as [insert horrible fact] there is also [insert something a bit nicer].

    There are a hell of a lot of negatives and I wish there were more positives but the place is in desperate need of serious money being pumped in to bring in employment opportunities and regenerate it overall. That indoor shopping arcade, for example, is depressing – one of the worst examples of architectural perversion I’ve seen in the north-west. The only thing I’ve ever seen that’s worse is the pink Elephant & Castle shopping centre in London, which is so awful it’s now a listed protected building, an example of classically bad 60s architecture.

    Sure, Morecambe has some beautiful houses and the seafront. It also has little in the way of employment prospects for the young, if the roving gangs of unemployed and/or frustrated are anything to go by. And it doesn’t feel safe to walk round a lot of areas at night – certainly not for two gay men, and before you think that’s the case anywhere outside the cities, it’s not so. Morecambe is a potentially explosive mix near the seafront of frail pensioners and violent drunks on a Friday or Saturday night. Get away from the seafront strip and you find some nice suburbs but there’s still a sense that there are too many thugs. You’ll never sell Morecambe to me as a place that’s modern and safe – some areas are, but they are not the majority -but I’ve made good friends in Morecambe, too, who I know are doing everything for their part to change the image of the town.

    You can criticise me for being honest but I’m not by any means the only person in the world to hold these views. Like Blackpool, Morecambe suffers from a view of it which says it is dated and abandoned by all the potential money-makers other than the gambling den owners and chip shops, with gangs roving around it at night making it look like someone’s doing a remake of A Clockwork Orange. I’m not saying it’s all necessarily fact but perception is everything for most people. Perception keeps them away, not fact – and the way to address it is not to shoot the messenger but get something done by pushing the issues with your town councillors and other politicians.

    If you don’t think it’s true, then you don’t think it’s true. But you’ve an uphill struggle to change the views held by the rest of Britain of seaside towns like it. Bingo halls, chip shops, gambling arcades and Stan Boardman doing a comedy run don’t scream 2006 to me. Last time Boardman was on TV was, I think, in about 1983 and the entirety of the delights’ the front has to offer – the view not withstanding – scream 1950 not 21st Century. The view is wonderful, many of the people I’ve met even more wonderful – but the town has serious flaws that could be addressed. My point is the will doesn’t appear to be there, the money diverted elsewhere. x

  10. Viva Morecambe!

    It might be run down, sad, and chavtastic in some ways, but it also contains some of the nicest people ever. It has been sadly let down by the developers and the council, but when I get up and look out of my window across the bay, I’m glad to live there all the same.

  11. Hello andy,
    yes and i to have change my way of thinking about some points that i disagreed about when reading your first published debate. Yes there is alot of teenage trouble (chavs) around and my parents still will not let me walk 7 minutes tops home because of the fact that anything could happen to me, so i do see where you are coming from with where you do not feel safe or feel intimidated by groups of teenagers “hanging around”
    And for what i am going to say about the broadway hotel is, well, that you maybe right that older citizens do come and stay,but there must be a reason that we have regular customers. What you need to reconise is that the hotel is only a 2 ** hotel and so your expectations maybe a little too high of what it it actually offers.
    i feel that we both have valied points that we have expressed clearly and my conclusion is that we all know there is a problem with Morecambe and so instead of just talking about it, do as much as we can to make it a better place.

    Rome was not built in one day. *smile*

    Khlari hello, hope you are happy now with the chioce you have made. Sorry your site has become big debating project.


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