The weather forecast was promising, enough for me to get the bags ready the evening before. Blue skies and sunshine in the middle of October, the seaside beckoned. We decided to head North. Scarborough was calling…
Kids fed and dressed. Off in the car. 90 minutes later we landed. As we headed down the seafront in search of a car parking space we were greeted with smoke billowing from a nearby chip shop. Knowing that the road might get closed off anytime we hastily parked up. Unloaded, and made our way onto the beach where there were already a number of people gathered watching the ensuing spectacle. Ben though, was pretty much more interested in building sandcastles, Flossie, more interested in eating the sand, and so we had to sit her back into her wheelchair pretty sharpish. Attention was drawn again to the fire, as the fire engines arrived, and as a fireman was lifted up on a platform to start to douse the flames. Slowly, but surely the fire was brought under control…
We left the beach, found a comfy seat, got fish and chips from a shop a bit further down, and ate while we fed Flossie. Tummies filled, we took a ride out on a pirate ship (not wheelchair accessible, we carried Flossie on). Only about 15 minutes, but Flossie loved the wind in her hair and we got lovely views of the castle on the nearby hill.
A further walk, and then another opportunity to see Scarborough from another point of view as we carried Flossie onto the Ferris wheel at the small fairground. Even Col faced up to his fear of heights with this one, although he did have white knuckles from gripping the bars on the ride. Again though the kids loved it, and it was truly one of those days when the sun bounced off the waves in the sea, and was reminiscent of a day in summer rather than the middle of Autumn.
Quick time check, and the realisation that we would have to be quick if we wanted to take a trip up the cliff on the funicular railway (and lets be honest, it’s not a trip to Scarborough until you’ve done this particular journey…!). We caught the tram at the Central Tramway which was established in 1881 and is surprisingly accessible. The carriage we were in was very full, but we got Flossie in there, in her wheelchair, and we actually followed a lady on a mobility scooter into the carriage. The journey itself only takes about a minute, but certainly beats puhing a wheelchair up a hill! We had a quick look around at the top and then made a repeat journey down. Back to the car and a small journey to Peasholm Park.
Now Peasholm Park took a bit of finding, it wasn’t particularly well signposted, we kind of aimed for what we thought was the right direction and hoped for the best… We did find it though, and again parked up for another 3 hour stint.
Peasholm Park is modelled on the Willow Pattern plates, all pagodas and little bridges. First stop was a cup of tea, as we were parched. Then the usual problem, Flossie needed toileting. I knew there was a Changing Places toilet (with loo, adult changing bench and hoist) somewhere in the vicinity of the park but when I looked at the Changing Places toilet map I inwardly groaned, it was further than I thought and looked to be in the midst of a warren of streets and I had no clue as to where I was in relation to it. Flossie needed sorting. My Radar key wouldn’t work in the disabled toilet, so I have no idea if that solution would have been better than the one I was forced to use. I had to use the baby change facility in the ladies toilets. It was in full view of anyone entering the ladies toilets. I was mortified.
We got sorted, in what was perhaps the quickest nappy change on the planet but still at least 3 people saw our situation. This whole crisis could have been averted if Changing Places toilets were provided in the public places where tourists such as ourselves visit.
We went back out into the fresh air, and carried on with our day. The rest of the day went fabulously well. We took a turn around the island in the lake in swan shaped motorised boat (We lifted Flossie, in her wheelchair onboard). We saw a heron and squirrels, and then heard a train blow it’s horn in the distance, so of course that had to be checked out and we had a lovely little journey on the minature railway, which had 2 wheelchair accessible carriages that you literally just wheeled the chair into. The ride took only about 20 minutes each way, but we never turn down a trainride!
We found a little cafe and stopped there for tea, and fed Flossie too. We used the loos there, and found that there was a much more private babychange facility there so wished we’d known about that earlier. Col and Ben had a quick go on the waterchute and then it was time to head back to the car. We want to return as it looks like there is so much more to explore at Peasholm. I will be emailing the council about the need for Changing Place toilet facilities at the park though….
If you agree that Changing Place toilet facilities should be included in our public places then please take the time to sign and share this petition, thank you.