Photo: Illustrative image for the 'EASTSIDE BEACH' page

Pre War Memories

from Hazel Hill (nee Richardson)

The wonderful stretch of golden sand, it always appeared first by the east pier, so that was where the crowds collected, swollen by dozens of people who came by train from Lewes, all trekking along the cinder path, complete with push chairs and bags.

If the tide was high we would see who could be the first one to 'touch sand', not me I'm afraid, usually my friend Ada, much more daring than me, and taller I might add.

The great time in the afternoon was when the mail boat was spotted on the horizon: we all scrambled back into our wet navy blue cotton bathers to go into the swells. The mail boat was our clock as well, no watches in those days, you went home when the boat came in: no sun creams either to my knowledge, you just got burnt.  I had Robin Starch dusted over my damage!

Mr Purchell's hut was a great source of pleasure, he sold lovely strips of creamy toffee for a ha'penny, lots of other sweets and pots of tea. However did he get his supplies across these stones?  These were wonderful times with hot summers (we think now), but best of all it  was free for everybody.

I thank God for these lovely memories.

This page was added by Ginny Smith on 06/02/2008.
Comments about this page

The steamer in the postcard is either Londres or Arromanches, from 1947/48, but your story certainly dates back further. My Mum told me similar tales.

Even in the 60's I can remember going down to the west side sandy beach inside the breakwater and waiting for the rollers to come in off the mailboats. They entered and left at speeds that would give todays H&S 'jobsworths' kittens!

By Andy Gilbert
On 05/03/2008

This is the Arromanches.

By Colin Holden
On 13/03/2008

And in case anyone wonders just how Colin knows that for sure, I've since discovered that Arromanches had her port and starboard navigation lamps at the front of the superstructure and Londres had hers at the end of the bridge wings.

By Andy Gilbert
On 24/01/2010

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