We all remember where we were when the Grand Pier burned down, right? I can still recall being on holiday, and feeling completely powerless as the flames melted the steel frame into a twisted bowl of metal spaghetti.
So there was an awful sense of ‘oh heck not another one’ when I got the news that there had been a fire at the Trop. Not again! Not after Banksy. Not now the Tropicana is finally being reborn as an increasingly-successful cultural centre. My heart sank.
But I soon cheered up because, as I’m sure you’ve seen from the Mercury’s coverage, even though the flames looked pretty terrifying against the night sky, there were no serious injuries and not much damage to speak of either.
Even better, the Icescape team worked wonders and got everything reopened within a day or two. And, in these days of 24 hour media, everyone knew as soon as it was up and running.
That’s a huge and very welcome change from the Somerset floods a few years ago, when everyone assumed Weston was closed for business even though we were unaffected and the nearest problems were 20 miles away. It took days and weeks of frustration for local tourism businesses before the rest of the country realised they could visit Weston without needing their wellies.
So, let’s all go skating over Christmas. It’s a brilliant local attraction for local people and visitors alike. I’ll probably be therewith my family, so please don’t laugh too loudly when (not if) I fall headlong on the ice. But whether you’re a brilliant skater, or Bambi on ice like me,let’s enjoy every second. Because, just a few weeks ago, it looked like it was gone forever.