The sound of Hoagy Carmichael admitting that his resistance is low and that he should resist, instantly brings it all back.
A school friend, whose cousin lived in Blackpool, explained the business model. With some trepidation I muted the possibility of accompanying John for a week of holiday, staying with his aunt. Authority was surprisingly complacent with the idea of losing me for a week. Ringlets was ecstatic.
The company had four shareholders. Melvyn, the cousin, had one share, recognising essential local knowledge. John and I had the brawn, earning one share each. Melvyn then took another share, as owner and supplier of company transport.
Holidaymakers would arrive by train at Blackpool station with a mountain of suitcases. Hire of a taxi was beyond the scope of most Yorkshire folk (it was Wakes Week) so Melvyn would step forward and offer to transport luggage and act as guide. As a local lad he knew all the guesthouses and most of the landladies by name.
Suitcases were piled onto the wooden trolley under Melvyn's careful and very vocal direction, before he guided us through the Blackpool streets. John and I providing motive power; Melvyn pointing out local amenities and forecasting that the rain would soon cease. Finally Melvyn conducted guests into their lodgings and introduced them to the landlady, who would suggest a suitable tip for 'the grand wee lad'.
For any visitors with no booking, he could personally recommend a vacancy; leading to an even warmer welcome from an appreciative landlady. By Tuesday both John and I recognised the future potential of Melvyn as a Captain of Industry. We were receiving 50% of an unknown sum, and were physically shattered.
At the end of this holiday we were invited to stay another week, but we both agreed that our families would be missing us. It would not surprise me to learn that Melvyn now owned most of the Golden Mile.