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Play it again, Cyril: 'Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside'

Director of music Highfield High School, Blackpool

In Lancashire folklore there is a story of no-nonsense Cyril standing with relatives at the foot of his wife's coffin. After some silence one auntie says: "Well, she's not lookin' so bad reely," to which Cyril replies: "Aye. An' I shud think not, she's just 'ad a week in Blackpool."

If a week can have such a cosmetic effect what must it be like to live there? Adventurous musicians might want to find out. Highfield High, a popular, over-subscribed 11-16 comprehensive with 1,049 pupils, is looking for a "well qualified and enthusiastic musician".

Highfield High is in South Shore, which is easy to find because the trams go there. First-time visitors are often surprised by the trams. It's as though they expect the whole tacky Blackpoo experience to be preserved in some museum. But it's all there, for real: the tower, the piers, the front, the golden mile, the donkeys and the lights.

Blackpool residents avoid the town on Saturday nights, when visiting stag and hen parties introduce hazards of their own. Many escape to Blackpool's hinterland, the Lancashire Fylde, which is surprisingly pretty and unspoilt. Some decamp to the posh end, St Anne's.

Applicants for the job shouldn't expect much opportunity for string quartets on the promenade, but the school does play an annual concert at The Grand and there is no shortage of professionals to drag into school for workshops.

Go on, swallow your prejudice, give it a go. Details are on www.highfield.blackpool.sch.uk or telephone 01253 310925.

Phil Revell


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