Morecambe's View cafe is a Mecca for music lovers

PUBLISHED: 00:00 07 February 2020

Lancaster singer/songwriter Amy-Jo Clough finds inspiration at The View� Cafe on Marine Drive, Morecambe, run by former rock and roll band member Pete Blackburn and his wife Marilyn

Lancaster singer/songwriter Amy-Jo Clough finds inspiration at The View� Cafe on Marine Drive, Morecambe, run by former rock and roll band member Pete Blackburn and his wife Marilyn

Milton Haworth

A café on Morecambe Promenade is the vinyl word in music memorabilia

Owner Marilyn Blackburn behind the counterOwner Marilyn Blackburn behind the counter

Magnificently quirky and colourful, Morecambe's View cafe is a magnet for musicians, rock and roll lovers and vintage collectors from all over the country.

The retro cafe is the Brainchild of Peter Blackburn, a member of The Black Cats rock band in the 60s, Pete gave up his market stall selling the records he had been collecting and selling for more than 60 years.

Browsers will find thousands of albums and CDs for sale, nearly all at the knockdown price of £1, and original newspapers describing major incidents in the history of music. A fiver will buy you an original copy of the Daily Mail tribute to Beatle George Harrison on his death in 2001.

Playbills from rock concerts harking back to the early 60s adorn the walls, original electric guitars hang like old masters in an art gallery; even the place mats on the tables are 12 inch vinyl records.

A customer sifts through the thousands of albums and CDsA customer sifts through the thousands of albums and CDs

Singer/songwriter Amy-Jo Clough from Lancaster said: 'The View Cafe is so cool, I love to visit and rummage through the old 12 inch albums. I even bought a few to decorate my recording studio.'

The food is plain, wholesome and perfectly cooked by former singer Peter who performed under the name Pete Nelson. Wife Marilyn and daughter Charlotte look after the front of house.

Blackburn-born Pete, 76 has shared a stage with some of the UK's top bands including The Shadows, Joe Brown, Jet Harris and has turned the Cafe into a retrospective of the 60s and 70s. He said: 'I've played guitar for Bert Weedon, Jet Harris, Frank Ifield, Miki and Griff, and many visiting American country music artists including Johnny Cash, twice, and Kris Kristofferson plus UK chart toppers Joe Brown, Karl Denver, Duane Eddy, The Hollies, Billy Fury, Marty Wilde, and Eartha Kitt.' Pete also did a spell as a stand-up comedian and supported comedy greats including Ken Dodd, Dick Emery, Jim Bowen and Bob Monkhouse.

Owners Pete and Marilyn Blackburn atThe View Cafe in MorecambeOwners Pete and Marilyn Blackburn atThe View Cafe in Morecambe

In 1959 Pete became guitarist/singer in a group which later became the chart topping Four Pennies and he went on to perform comedy in clubs and theatres and was compere at the Cavendish Club in Blackburn.

Although Pete officially retired a few years ago, he has recently been persuaded to form a band under the name of The Rockin Relics'. 'It's pretty aptly named,' he said.

Six years ago Pete and wife Marilyn were walking past the shop on Morecambe Promenande just as the owner was visiting the premises after the previous tenant had skipped town.

'It was a Tuesday evening when Marilyn and I first saw the place,' said Pete. 'I pointed it out to Marilyn and then we spotted the owner who was changing the locks and cleaning the place up a bit.

'We were both fired with enthusiasm immediately; we did a deal there and then, got the keys on the Thursday then spent two days painting, cleaning it up, we transformed the place on Saturday and managed to open on the Sunday afternoon.'

Since then the couple haven't looked back. The View is a shrine to the bygone age of rock and roll.



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