I went into town to watch Rattle and Hum at the ABC cinema. I got there early on the bus so was walking along Church St quite slowly, on my own, killing a bit of time. A youngish man came up to me, quite agitated, and asked if I’d have sex with him. I was so shocked – having grown up in Blackpool I was well used to the constant hassling by drunk men in pubs and bars, but this was late afternoon and quite different. I walked away, but he grabbed me and dragged me into an alleyway (I could never manage to relocate this sadly, I was in too much shock). He pinned me against the wall, pushed a fistful of banknotes into my face, said he’d pay, that his family’s business was just through a back door which he pointed at in the alley. I think he said he was a virgin and didn’t want to be any more. I kept saying no but he had really firm hold of me and wouldn’t let go. Thankfully he eventually let me go, without actually sexually assaulting me, just physically. I don’t know why he stopped, I think he’d somehow thought I was a sex worker (not that that would make it ok!) and had realised his mistake, or maybe someone came and disturbed him, I don’t know. I ran out back onto Church St, went into the cinema, so shocked that I went into the wrong film and didn’t even notice until an assistant came in to tell me. She seemed to be oblivious to my state and was basically telling me off, as if I was sneaking in or something. I’ve always felt that this all had something to do with the fact that I was wearing a really short skirt and was “alternative”/gothy, as if this somehow made me less of a sympathetic figure and by dressing like that I’d invited trouble, or as if goths and sex workers were somehow in the same category – too far off the mainstream to matter. Less deserving of sympathy or protection, somehow. Didn’t ever report it or tell anyone at the time, there didn’t seem to be any point since I hadn’t actually been raped and I knew nothing would be done about it. The lack of care from the cinema staff somehow seemed to confirm this. It’s stayed with me ever since though, even now in my 40s. So many other tales to tell of growing up in Blackpool at that time, but this is the one that did the most damage to me.