I’ve never been to Blackpool before, so when the excuse of BarCamp Blackpool came along, I jumped at the chance. And since it’s a long way away, and the BarCamp was only on for one day, we took the opportunity to make a weekend of it, arriving in Friday evening and staying until Monday afternoon.
On arrival, we took a walk along the prom to see the sites and stretch legs after a long journey. Yes, Blackpool is a little tacky, but it’s great fun if you take it at face value and appreciate its quirky English seaside charms! We were also there at the right time of year for the illuminations [right], which were certainly a site to see.
The BarCamp itself was held in the conference suite at the Pleasure Beach Casino – a great venue right in the heart of the town. We had three big rooms to use and the views from the 1st floor balcony at lunchtime were fantastic!
Alistair brought BarCamp Wifi-In-A-Box™ along, aka some wifi routers, cable and power in a wheelie suitcase. Once set up, it worked impeccably all day. I had Mr Duck [left] helping me on the registration table – and showing off one of the inspired bits of schwag we all got – BarCamp Blackpool branded rock!
Evening dinner was taken at a fish and chippy a good hike away (a few folks complained how far it was to walk), but we all re-convened for a few beers and a magic show back at the Pleasure Beach afterwards. The site of @ruby_gem getting her head chopped off made quite a few of us giggle! But she didn’t deserve it – full marks for organising a friendly, fun BarCamp, we had a blast!
The plan for Sunday was originally that we would meet up at the Pleasure Beach for a go on the rollercoasters, but after “a few beers” the night before, and looking at the weather forecast for the day, we decided cowardice was the better part of valour and gave it a miss.
Instead, Alistair & I hired some chunky yellow bikes and did a spot of geocaching (in the rain) along the seafront. I think we covered about 10 miles in all. Great fun, even though we did get pretty soggy in the process. According to Alistair, that’s an occupational hazard of caching with me. Hmph.
A visit to Blackpool would not be complete without a ride on the famous Trams, (and besides, my Dad would have killed me if I’d missed out). So on Monday we took a trip all the way to Fleetwood on the rickety old ladies. We might have been looking for more geocaches along the way, I’m not telling!
All in all a great weekend, and I would recommend attending the next BarCamp Blackpool when it comes along! See all my photos from the weekend.