I am sad! I have just heard that the Boardwalk, our little local cafe on the beach, is to close.
This is arguably the best site along the coast here at Whitley Bay, sitting in the sun in the morning one could pretend one was sitting on the Western Algarve in Portugal ... or inside the cafe, on an ocean going liner, as the waves lapped the wall below us.
My friends and I have spent many a happy evening here in the past six years or so, when it was run by Mark Rea.
We have been to ‘30s nights, ‘gangsters and molls’; to ‘20s nights, ‘flappers with feathers’, all produced by Brian Bennett of Vieux Carre Jazz and his merry bandsmen.
We have masqueraded behind beautiful exotic masks, dressed up and down as the evening demanded, danced the night away jiving in the aisles. They were super evenings.
We have been entertained there by Rod Steward lookalikes, Elvis impersonators, Freddie Mercury acts and our very own Jason Isaacs.
We have eaten wonderful meals, drunk a few bottles here and there too.
We have attended birthday parties, baby naming parties, even the funeral wake of a dear friend.
There have been fashion shows, handbag events, speakers from all walks of life, ladies’ lunches ... and we could always walk home afterwards.
We have made friendships there, sat and cried there, complained about the loos there, and fiddled with the blinds when we should not have, just to see the sea beyond.
Now it is going. The council in its wisdom is to bulldoze it.
The lady who is managing this café now, indeed has just redecorated it, is still in shock.
She was devastated by the news that in three weeks it will close.
I just hope they have the sense to rebuild another venue on this beautiful site, and bring it all back to life again.
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