Tag Archives: Blackpool

Seaside Stories KS1

Albert and the Lion

One of the best known seaside stories has to be Albert and the Lion. My father used to recite this to me as a child. He learnt it when he was a boy by listening to it on the radio ( before the days of television ).

The story is about the Ramsbottom family who go to Blackpool on holiday and pay a visit to the zoo. Whilst there Albert is fascinated by an old lion called Wallace and annoys him by prodding him with his “stick with the horses head handle”. The lion reacts by pulling Albert in the cage and swallowing him whole. Not satisfied with an apology from the zoo keeper the Ramsbottoms march off to the police station to see what can be done.

The poem was written by Marriott Edgar in 1932 and made famous by Stanley Holloway. Here are the words:


There’s a famous seaside place called Blackpool,

Blackpool promenade, Lancashire.

Blackpool promenade, Lancashire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s noted for fresh air and fun,

And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom

Went there with young Albert their son.


A grand little lad was young Albert,

All dressed in his best quite a swell

With his stick with an ‘orse’s ‘ead ‘andle

The finest that Woolworth’s could sell.


They didn’t think much of the Ocean:

The waves were all fiddlin’ and small,

There was no wrecks and nobody drownded,

In fact, nothing to laugh at at all.


So seeking for further amusement,

They paid and went into the zoo,

Where they’s Lions and Tigers and Camels,

And old ale and sandwiches too.


There was one great big lion called Wallace

His nose were all covered in scars –

He lay in a somnolent posture,

With the side of his face on the bars.


Now Albert had heard about lions,

How they was ferocious and wild –

To see Wallace lying so peaceful,

Well, it didn’t seem right to the child.


So straightway the brave little feller,

not showing a morsel of fear,

took his stick with his ‘orse’s ‘ead ‘andle

And pushed it in Wallace’s ear.


You could see that the lion didn’t like it,

For giving a kind of a roll,

He pulled Albert in the cage with ‘im,

And swallowed the little lad ‘ole.


The Pa, who had seen the occurrence,

And didn’t know what to do next,

Said ‘Mother! Yon Lion’s ‘et Albert’,

And Mother said “Well I am vexed!”


Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom –

Quite rightly, when all’s said and done –

Complained to the Animal Keeper,

That the Lion had eaten their son.


The keeper was quite nice about it,

He said “What a nasty mishap.

Are you sure it’s your boy he’s eaten?”

Pa said “Am I sure? There’s his cap!”


The manager had to be sent for.

He came and he said “What’s to do?”

Pa said “Yon Lion’s ‘et Albert,

And ‘im in his Sunday clothes too.”


Then Mother said , “Rights right young feller,

I think it’s a shame and a sin,

For a Lion to go and eat Albert,

And after we paid to come in.”


The manager wanted no trouble,

He took out his purse right away,

Saying “How much to settle the matter?”

And Pa said “What do you usually pay?”


But Mother had turned a bit awkward

When she thought where her Albert had gone,

She said “No! someone’s got to be summonsed”

So that was decided upon.


Then off they went to the Police Station,

In front of the Magistrate chap.

They told him what happened to Albert,

And proved it by showing his cap.


The Magistrate gave his opinion

That no one was really to blame

And he hoped the Ramsbottoms

Would have further sons to their name.


At that Mother got proper blazing,

‘And thank you sir, kindly, said she.

“What spend all our lives raising children

To feed ruddy Lions? Not me!”


Book a Seaside Day for your school. Ideal for KS1 but can be adapted for KS2.

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Seaside Holidays in the past : Train journey

Blackpool Tower. Photographed by Rich Daley (O...

Blackpool Tower

To the Seaside by Train

The History of the Seaside and the development and expansion of the Railways are closely linked. Before the invention of the motor car steam trains provided the only way to travel quickly over long distances.

As the Seaside grew in popularity the railways carried ever increasing numbers to the coastal seaside resorts.

This account describes a train journey to the seaside from Bolton to Blackpool in 1938.

Lots of children and cases line the platform, babies, hand bags, toddlers, everyone is loaded down. Nobody moves much and the scene is a parade of all in ‘Sunday Best’ in honour of the occasion. Most of the women are wearing coats and hats, although one observer still notes traces of the mill on two young women ‘with the mill fluff on their tams’. Men wear freshly pressed , often new suits…. A group begins to sing and their mood spreads infectiously across ( the station ) to children and adults alike… Accordion played, ‘Count thy blessings, one by one’ Everyone singing…[ on the train ]…For the first part their is almost always restraint and silence. Girls read Woman’s Own, Passing Show or Silver Star, men smoke and the train moves on to stops at Chorley and Preston…Beyond Preston the traveller reaches the world of the dunes and the Tower comes into view, dominating the flat landscape. No longer is the mill chimney the inescapable symbol; the ‘other world’ has been reached. Inside the train, the mood changes; the travellers are now bound together as ‘fellows’ by this common rallying point. The restraint clearly visible at the outset has dropped from sight. Cotton and factory chimney are finshed with…( sweets and cigarettes are handed around and singing begins )…The skyline has changed; the land has changed. It’s all Blackpool – all magic – now. The ordinary, the common, the usual is all far left behind, left in the mill town.

Inspire your children!

Book a Seaside Workshop Day to bring your Seaside Topic to life.

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