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TO THE BEACH
by Margaret Renwick

Walking along Ocean Road past the boarding house, tin bucket and wooden spade in hand. Stopping to visit the Victorian toilets in the park all shiny brass and copper, gleaming white tiles; far too posh for the purpose. The huge lifeboat at Wouldhave Memorial with the gigantic rusty anchor beside it had to be circled and admired. Then the Guiness clock along by the Sea Hotel, every fifteen minutes the crowds gathered to see the mechanically animated show, a magical sight for children not used to television.

Past the tall Pilots house to the pier where a large red mine collected pennies for distressed seafarers, to be hurried past as quickly as possible, just in case! Along by the wooden cafe where they would sell the hot water to fill your teapot to drink with egg and tomato sandwiches, the sand in them was free. Chocolate digestives for afters and time to play. Frock tucked into navy blue knickers, off to the rocks by the Groyne to hunt for newts and crabs with the rest of the ragamuffin children. pausing only to wave to all the ships sailing up and down the busy river.

On a really hot day out would come the woollen bathing trunks or the latest bobbly nylon bathers which became transparent in the water, Dragged out of the water with blue extremities and chattering teeth as the sun was setting. Rubbed dry by rough sandpaper towels and trailed wearily home with a bag of chips for supper. Straight to bed, worn out but healthy.


 

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