26 Medbig Street
Porthmadog
Sussex
England
GT71 29Q
17th September 2004
Mr Ben Shelmerdine
671 Bloomfield Road
Blackpool
Lancashire
FY4 1NZ
Dear Mr Bryson,
My name is
Mr Ben Shelmerdine and I am a director of the Blackpool tourist board. I
would first like to say that I was shocked an appalled at what you wrote
about Blackpool. I could not believe some of the awful language you used to
describe Blackpool. Nearly all of what you wrote and most of the things you
said were just predigest and far too judgemental and you only used one
point of view, yours. You never bothered to go out and ask the people that
were visiting our home city and you never even bothered to ask one person
that lived in Blackpool what they thought about it. To be honest I would
not say that all of article was bad, you said that Blackpool never failed
to amaze you and you also mentioned that Blackpool had more visitors last
year than Greece which was all correct, but then you started to say that
people were using doorways as a place to urinate, but I am one hundred
percent sure that Blackpool city council provide enough public toilets for
everyone. I also thought that this point was exaggerated slightly. I would
like to know how many people you saw urinating in a doorway. The only
people that would use a doorway as a toilet are people with no respect for
others and have no respect for Blackpool either.

Ben Shelmerdine
I was not very pleased by the way you changed back to saying that Blackpool
was successful and then followed that up by telling everyone that Blackpool
has increased its visitor numbers by 7 per cent where as elsewhere of
people taking a traditional seaside holiday has declined by a fifth.

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After that you then start to cast aspirations on Blackpool again by calling
it ugly, dirty and a long way from anywhere, and then you call the sea in
Blackpool an open toilet, but if you had researched it you would have found
out that it is now clean and has won awards. You also would have learned
that its muggy brown colour is due to the algae and dark sand on the sea
bed. After all this you have the nerve to call our attractions cheap,
provincial and dire but they seemed to attract you after all of the good
comments about them and how it is an amazing sight. You said in your piece
that you had been hearing and reading about them which obviously means that
non prejudiced people have enjoyed then or you would not have bothered to
our home town. The most frustrating part of your piece was where you kept
criticising the illuminations, especially the section where you wrote “But
in terms of a letdown it would be hard to exceed Blackpool’s light show.”
And “If you had never seen electricity in action, it would be pretty
breathtaking, but I am not even sure of that.” as well “It all just seemed
tacky and inadequate on rather a grand scale, like Blackpool itself.” I was
very upset by this section. You must have thought that the illuminations
were quite good because you call them a spectacle. I finally got the
impression of what kind of man you are at the end of your article where you
say you were looked at like some sort of southern pansy when you asked for
tartar sauce, I got the impression of a spoilt little child crying because
he cant have what he wants but in a judgemental mans head. I would like to
ask you a few questions before I finish my letter for example if Blackpool
is as bad as you describe it to be why do we get more visitors than Greece?
And why do 6.5 million people come to Blackpool each year? And one last
question if our illuminations are so bad why are they famous. I hope I have
made you think more clearly about your article and how you described
Blackpool and I will wait on a reply.


Yours Sincerely,
Ben Shelmerdine.

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