It’s all run of the mill for lace worker Alf, until a trip to the seaside turns to seduction…
With mill and factory closures rife, 1950s Britain isn’t the best place for the working classes. Alf, a twisthand at Polkirks Lace Mill, is worried his position might not be secure.
But one perk in the year is the annual, company-funded excursion to Blackpool. Sticks of rock, the illuminations, paddling in the sea and promenading on the pier help to break up the monotony of working life.
But what happens when the boss’s son Jeremy comes along on the trip…and seems a little more familiar than he should? Is love between two men really possible, even in progressive, post-war Britain?
Alf is just adorable. He isn’t sure he’s gay until Jeremy shows him he is. With it being the 1950s, Alf has always thought he should find a wife and get married, have children. He tried the courting route but was always left feeling something was missing. His first kiss with Jeremy showed him what he’d been missing, and their sexual encounter on a secluded part of the beach was very real. In fact, the whole book came across as very real.
Ms Turner’s voice is fabulous and she put me right there with the characters. There were quite a few, because there’s a trip to the beach for the workers, but at no time was I confused as to who was who. And if you’re British, you’ll adore this tale of the past because you’ll perhaps remember a childhood visit to the beach just like it, and if you’re not British, you’ll get a good glimpse of how it is here.
It isn’t just set at the beach. To begin with it’s in a mill, and returns there near the end, but the descriptions are so vivid that, even though I’ve never been in a mill, I finished the book feeling as though I had. I love it when that happens. I don’t have to go places when skilful authors have the ability to take me there while I’m sitting in my armchair!
Verdict: A perfect m/m historical read. Just perfect.