A Quick Roll Around Mablethorpe [Street Candy ATM 400]

mablethorpe beach table

Images shot on Street Candy ATM 400 in Lomography LC-Wide

I remember when I was a kid, one of my favourite days out was the annual Saturday trip we’d take to Mablethorpe, out on the east coast of England. It’d be a family thing, going with my brother and our cousins, my mother and aunt, and our grandparents too.

The pattern of the day there was pretty similar every year, so it made sense to me to follow that rough schedule when I found myself back in Mablethorpe all these years later with a roll of Street Candy ATM 400 to shoot in my Lomography LC-Wide.

But because I was just popping in on my way home from a couple of nights in Skegness, I didn’t have long to hang around. And that’s why it really was a quick roll around Mablethorpe in more than one sense of the term.

It started, as it always did for us, in the dunes and on the beach.

mablethorpe sand dunes

Mablethorpe’s sand dunes and beach

Mablethorpe’s sand dunes and beach were where we’d always spend the first part of the day when we visited as kids, so that’s where I began this day too.

Aside from wanting to loosely retrace my steps from those Saturdays years ago, it was the obvious starting point due to me having parked up in the nearby Sea View car park which overlooks them.

It’s as good a place as any to start and end a day walking around Mablethorpe – not least because you get that photogenic view from the boardwalk you just saw there as you head down into the dunes.

As a kid, playing in Mablethorpe’s sand dunes was always more fun than being on the beach, which is kind of just a long, flat and empty expanse at this point just north of the town’s actual seafront.

Something in the dunes that I hadn’t seen before though, or even heard of, was Jabba the beach hut. Originally constructed as part of an art installation that featured a number of different beach huts, it now sits alone in the long grass looking a little forlorn.

Still visually striking from the outside of course, but full of rubbish and smelling like someone – not me – had used it for a toilet on the inside. Maybe they clean it out regularly but it was like that when I was there at least.

jabba hut mablethorpe

Walking south down North and Central Promenade

Heading south down Mablethorpe’s North and Central Promenades brings you to the town, and with it more things to take photographs of. Things that aren’t just sand dunes or the beach.

Things like Gnomesville, or Gnome Man’s Land as it appears to have once been called. A collection of garden gnomes put together by the owners of the nearby Snack Shack, it certainly brightens up that particular patch of land.

More traditional British seaside sights greet you as you continue on down the Promenades. The ubiquitous beach huts for example, which would perhaps have looked better on a nice colour Kodak film than they do on this monochrome Street Candy ATM.

Windswept parasols, overcast skies, people on the beach wearing coats in June, and a No Dogs on Beach sign were also present.

Like I said, just traditional British seaside sights wherever you look.

Checking out the chalets and looking at the lake at Queens Park

Although the walk along the promenades takes you to the main seafront area of Mablethorpe, with its fish and chip shops, amusement arcades and funfair, we would always save that for last during our day trips there as kids.

Before that, the walk down Central Promenade would always end at Queens Park, where a game of crazy golf and a ride on the miniature railway was the order of the day.

The latter wasn’t running on the day I shot these images, so you’ll have to go here if you want to see what it looks like. The crazy golf was open, although judging by that graffiti it seems someone wishes it wasn’t.

Queens Park is another good spot if you’re a fan of beach huts, or chalets, with a line of them overlooking things up on the ridge. Again, a colour film might have been a little more cheerful here.

That said, I think the shots of the lake came out quite nice in monochrome – especially the swan boats and the actual Canada geese.

Shooting with the Lomo LC-Wide with its 17mm lens meant I had to get quite near to them for that shot while doing my best not to disturb them.

For one because it’s not good to go around disturbing wild birds, and for two because I did not want them coming after me like a bunch of perturbed individuals angry about having their photograph taken.

Back into town, back in the day, back to the car, and back home

The final part of our old day trips to Mablethorpe – the bit where we got back into the small town centre for an hour or so – was always the highlight for us kids.

Not for the sweet shops with their multi-coloured sticks of rock, or the fish and chips, or the toy and gift places though. We didn’t really care about any of them. Not when we had a bag of 10 pence pieces to spend in the arcades.

This was back when they were full of video games too, and when they looked and felt spectacular compared to what the NES I had at home could do. Because they were.

Our favourite game to find as kids in Mablethorpe was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one – especially as we could take full advantage of its four-player feature. I don’t remember anything in any arcade ever being more fun than that.

People lament today’s arcades being full of crane machines and dance mats, but I think they have had to change. Even all-time great machines like the TMNT one won’t really wow a lot of people in the same way when they have any kind of Xbox or PlayStation at home, so you have to give them a different experience instead.

It may not be as good as it was back then – and let’s face it, it isn’t – but from a business point of view it’s probably better than trying to hold onto something that has unfortunately had its time.

As for the rest of these images… there’s not much to say really aside from the go-kart track wasn’t there the last time I went to Mablethorpe, and neither was the pirate ship at the crazy golf.

And I didn’t have an ice cream either – that was just an ornament outside the Seaview Cafe as I was on my way back to my car.

Wrapping up this quick roll of Street Candy in Mablethorpe

I’m glad I dropped into Mablethorpe and shot this roll of Street Candy ATM 400.

The main photo adventure of that weekend had been shooting two rolls of Lomography Color Negative 800 in Skegness, with Mablethorpe being kind of an afterthought I squeezed in on my way home from there. But the results I got and the memories they brought back made it more than just that.

From the beach and the dunes to the promenades and Queens Park, and back into town with its shops and arcades, that Street Candy film did a good job of rendering everything in its grainy, moody monochrome way. And that Lomo LC-Wide is always fun to shoot with too.

I sometimes feel like the old British seaside towns like this are better shot in colour, to give that jolly summery feel, and that I should save the black and white film for the grittier street shots in the inland towns and cities.

But then again, who’s to say what is best? Maybe neither are. Anything you shoot anywhere is going to have its merits, and it’s good to go against the tide sometimes.

So I’ll leave this right there, with just one last thing. A final call to check out the full Street Candy ATM 400 review if you haven’t already.

It’s a good film that deserves some love. 🙂

If you enjoyed that quick roll around Mablethorpe, why not have a look at some of these other film photo essays too:

And if you think others will find this post worth a read, help them find it by giving it a share 😀

written by
Hi, I'm Lee - creator of My Favourite Lens and the one whose work you're seeing whenever you read a post on here.
I shoot as much film as I can in as many different cameras as I can, and I enjoy playing with vintage lenses on digital cameras also.

Everything I do and what I learn along the way gets shared on here, to inform and inspire you to get out and shoot as much - and as well - as you can too.

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