Fascinating little creatures


Attached to a whelk shell

Once a baby barnacle glues itself to a shell, rock, whale, turtle, boat or other object – it’s stuck there for the rest of its life.

It must be a bonus being attached to something that swims/gets buffeted about in the big seas.  Barnie reaps the benefits of being introduced to new feeding grounds full of juicy plankton.

Barnacles are filter feeders and are harmless to the beasties/objects they’ve selected as their anchor.  They’re merely using them either as a mode of transport or a fixed place where the tides wash in and out.

The beasties
are unlikely to notice
they’re wearing
a coat of many barnacles

Barnacles are related to crabs and lobsters, and can live for 5-10 years. They date back millions of years and are possibly one of the oldest surviving creatures on the planet.

I’ve never seen barnacles
attached to a throw-away food carton


Attached to a food carton


Random pondering

If the carton disintegrates,
will the barnacles
lose their hold on life?

Fascinating little creatures


Nothing to see?


A Lytham day in October


Nothing to see

Across the Ribble estuary


A Blackpool day
in October

Dots of activity on the beach

A Blackpool Day

Peeping from under South Pier

Another Blackpool Day
last day of September

Same vantage point

High Tide


Different day – same vantage point – high tide

Lost property


A mooch along
Blackpool’s empty beach
What’s that pink thing
near Central Pier?

Lost property

Central Pier

Lost property


Lost property

Smile for the camera

Washed up by the tide?

Further along, beach toys
and no-one around
to play with them?

Washed up

Left behind

Later, on return leg of journey,
all lost property
had been reclaimed!

Fancy a swim?


A solitary red flag stands on Blackpool South Beach

Blackpool South Beach

Safe place to swim

A red (or yellow) flag
indicates the beach is monitored by lifeguards
and it’s a safe place to swim

Blackpool South Beach

Anybody there?

Blackpool South Beach

Not one person around to take a dip

Not many takers on a pleasant day in May
Wish I’d had my cozzie – if only to give the lifeguards a giggle!


March of the Mouldies



March of the Mouldies

Plastic Army

Once neatly packaged in twos and threes with a bucket and spade in a string bag, the Mouldies were free. 

Their lives had been diverse.  Loved one minute, rejected the next, chewed by the dog, washed away with the tide, returned to another place. 

Bea Pool, an obsessive collector of beach treasures, rescued Mouldies. She had a knack of spotting colourful shapes hiding under clumps of seaweed, or half-buried in soft, silvery sand.  Her ever-growing assortment lived in a bucket in the garden shed.  Bea would do something with them one day.  Maybe make a mobile, hang them in the lilac tree, glitter-spray them as Christmas tree decorations. 

Today, there was an inkling of spring in the air.  Daffodils and tulips bobbed their heads in the breeze.  Excited blue tits were ecstatic to find the nest box on the garden wall still available.  Bees buzzed in glee at the weak warmth of the first sunny day in ages. 

Pottering in the garden shed Bea looked down at the bucketful of Mouldies.  She felt sorry for them, and had an urge to return them to the beach.  Once liberated, they might have a new life.  Little people playing in the sand, with their families close by, might adopt the Mouldies to make intricate sand patterns (even though Mouldies were pretty useless at moulding sand, according to Bea’s disappointing efforts).  

It was worth the gamble.  Bea pedalled down to the beach with the Mouldies shuffling around in her rucksack.  She released them. 

The Mouldies were overjoyed.  They had the freedom of the beach.  In the distance the King and Queen of Spades and their courtiers were waiting to welcome them. 


King & Queen of Spades

King & Queen of Spades & Courtiers

The March of the Mouldies set forth.  The happy gathering posed for Bea.  

Mouldies get together

Mouldies together

Bea took pics of her plastic friends so she’d remember.  The time had come to leave them to their fate.  But she couldn’t.  She scooped them up, shoved them into her rucksack and took them back to the garden shed.

Back in the bucket, that’s where they’d stay … … … until the next instalment.


Blackpool Treasures – Friends Reunited


What to do with a collection of beach toys?  Write a toy story, of course!

Blackpool beach on a calm sunny day

Green Man, angry, snarling, waving his arms.
“Hey you! Over here!”


Green Man

Little Yellow Blob, sobbing.
“Where am I?”



Green Man
“Blackpool beach. Washed up, just like me. Been tangled in seaweed for weeks. Couldn’t be in a cooler place than Blackpool. Who’s that over there?”

Little Yellow Blob, not sobbing any more.
“Oh, that’s BEN098 from Alien Force. Saw him surfing the waves the other week. Weird dude. Never has much to say. Pity about his hand. Hammerhead got it.”

Umbrella Girl
“Hi there! I’ve lost my keys. Can I join the party?”


Umbrella Girl

Little Pony, galloping along the sands, shaggy mane blowing in the breeze.


Little Pony

“Neigh! What a journey. Those white horses were a bit fierce during the storm. On my way to Southport. Not a chance! When the tide turns I might make it across the Ribble, or Morecambe, or Isle of Man. Never know where you’ll end up. Anyone want a ride?”


Little Pony

Green Man
“Ooh yes, please! I’ve always wanted my own little pony.”

Umbrella Girl
“I’m going to hitch a lift in Hot Wheels. So awesomely wicked. I guess it took a wrong turn somewhere along the way.”


Hot Wheels

Little Yellow Blob
“Hmm – got choices to make. Either on the back of Sid the Driftwood Serpent or Elliman’s Embrocation. I could easily shuffle inside and use my back-end as a bung.”

Green Man
“What about you BEN08?”

BEN08, grunts
“Here comes my lift.”

Thundering along the beach, Dilly Dinosaur ambles up to the group.


Dilly Dinosaur

Friends reunited chat about their hopes and dreams.


The cast – friends reunited

Will they stick together or go their separate ways?

Da da dah da daaaaaah …….!


Blackpool – beach treasures


Pick your way through wall to wall deckchairs, beach towels, fortresses of sandcastles, and happy holidaymakers.  Punch and Judy, ice creams, donkeys, Ambre Solaire.  Blackpool in its glory days.

At 4.30pm the beach emptied.  Crabby, sunburnt children and exhausted adults scuttled back to their B&Bs for tea.  5pm prompt!

Lying in wait for the mass exodus, local kids lurked.  It was time for serious beachcombing, on the hunt for left behind treasures and, with luck, pennies and sixpences.

Fifty years later, head down, and still looking for treasure!

Now, what to do with such a magnificent collection?


Meet the cast


Meet the cast