Waking up this morning, I was bouncing off the walls because I knew a relaxing morning was ahead of me before heading off to Wembley to watch Blackpool v Exeter in the League 2 play off final. The winner would be going up. It was a 3 pm kick off so I figured after the match, I would head down to Abbey Road studios near St John’s Wood tube station and see how many other Beatles fans were loitering and what, if any changes there would be.
A win also came at my hostel as the shift manager decided it was only fair to move me to another room after bed bugs had attacked me over the past couple of nights kipping down there. This time last night, I was considering moving to a new hostel and cutting my financial losses. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. The funny thing is, if businesses practised installing decent customer services into their business model then everyone would win in the end.
Around 12:30 pm, I boarded the train, bound for Wembley. Once there, I instantly fell into the party mode and grabbed a few cans of beer from the offy. As I wandered, I met these two guys from somewhere down south who were up for the day out. Both Plymouth fans I think? We waxed in a most lyrical fashion about the £48 prices for our tickets. My seat was right behind them as luck would have it. We found our way into the stadium and baked under the English sun for the next two hours or so.
Anither chap in front of me was wearing a famous Bowie quote in the back of his shirt. This led me to believe that today was going to be Blackpool’s day.
The match was a most decent affair. The tangerine’s went up 1-0 after just 3 minutes. They looked in complete control until a lapse in concentration cost them dearly so to the break we went at 1-1. During the interval, I got yabbering to the guy next to me who turned out to be a Liverpool supporter who trialled with both Fulham and Chelsea in the late 70’s. He is 54 now but doesn’t look a day over 40! During this time, a family from Blackpool joined in with our conversation and the mum handed us some sweeties. She can come every week!
Blackpool rallied again to go ahead 2-1 midway through the second term and, despite some late pressure, held their nerve to be promoted to League 1 for the coming season. Well done Seasiders! I said my farewells to my acquaintances for the afternoon after the Blackpool team were presented with their trophy and headed for Wembley Park tube station to make my way into St John’s Wood so I could check out Abbey Road.
This Thursday marks 50 years since The Beatles released Sgt. Peppers so there has been a lot of publicity around the re-release of the album. David Bowie also released his self titled debut LP on the same day as Peppers but he would have to wait a few more years to enjoy his day in the sun. Ohh, there is now a nice mural dedication along the wall to Sgt. Peppers which makes for a nice nostalgic touch. Well played!
Once I arrived at my destination, I was blown away by the amount of people lurking about. The mood was that of a street party atmosphere but without the food and booze. Everyone was trying to take happy snaps on the zebra crossing and, in turn, pissing off countless motorists in the process. Seriously though, why would anyone try and drive along this road during a bank holiday weekend? Bit daft really. There were loads of Beatles fans from all over the world. Japan, Denmark, America, Japan, Iceland, Australia and even a few scousers! We all spent time sharing stories and laughing. It was so much fun.
Initially, I figured I would spend maybe thirty minutes there but that soon turned into a good two hours. I met an American guy, Robert who collects bootlegs so we swapped email adressses and promised to share some rarities from our private collections. The Beatles once told us that all you need is love and tonight the love was everywhere! People were taking photos for each other, adding each other on Facebook and enjoying treasured moments.
Today will definitely go down as one of the best on this trip. Tomorrow, I get to head back to Wembley and join Denis and Pearl as we cheer on Huddersfield as they attempt to defeat Reading and gain promotion to the Premier League next season.
Remember though, all you need is love!