Workshop Group 8: NHS Retirement Fellowship
Weston Road Chapel Library Site

Distribution Workshop 19th Feb 2010

CLICK HERE to open pdf of Seaside Memories Book or read it here

Seeing out memories in print - hearing the memories of others and reading our own memories out loud for others to share.

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A powerpoint presentation of all the groups taking part is played at all the distribution workshops, along with readings and a free book/CD set presentation to all.
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8th May 2009. Recording our memories on a digital recorder and video.

MP3 TRACKS FREE TO DOWNLOAD: To listen to our stories click here

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Our Stories

Ellen Allcock:  NHS Retirement Fellowship


My first holiday was just after the war when I’d be about six, maybe seven. It was a big event going on holiday to the seaside with mum and dad and my eldest brother. It was a lovely day as we set out very early in the morning on the three-mile walk from Short Heath to the nearest railway station at Willenhall in the West Midlands. On the train I was fascinated by the puffing smoke, the steam and the hissing. At the seaside it was a big adventure. I hadn’t seen the sea before or the sands but everything was there that I’d dreamed of.

My mum had knitted me my swimming costume and I couldn’t wait to get it on. First we had to get settled into the digs but the next day was a beautiful day and I was ready to go out in my swimsuit. As usual my brother Derek was put in charge of me, while Mum and Dad sat in the deckchairs resting. Derek was a proper Dennis the Menace who hated looking after his younger sister. On the beach, I was happily playing in the sand with my bucket and spade and sitting in the little rock pools. I didn’t know that Derek had wandered off and left me all by myself. I wasn’t frightened. I thought it was wonderful sitting there splashing about in the water, getting thoroughly dirty.

Then there was a commotion on the beach: people were shouting and running up and down. All of a sudden my mum appeared and yanked me out of the water. When Mum and Dad had asked Derek where I was he said he didn’t know and panic set in. Everyone was looking for this little girl in a knitted swimsuit that by now was all wet and down by my ankles. I hadn’t got a clue that the commotion was about me. Mum asked what I was doing there. ‘Playing,’ I said. I was the one who got into trouble because I’d wandered off - when I hadn’t. Derek, who’d left me, got away scot-free.

Some years later when I was about 12 we went on holiday to Rhyl. We stayed at a boarding house not far from the Front and the landlady had a son Keith, who was about my age. Keith went to the station when the trains came in with a truck that he put people’s cases on. He’d take the cases to where they were staying for a few shillings which helped his mum who was a single parent. My dad liked Keith so whenever Keith wasn’t working at the railway station he came out with us. Dad gave us pocket money but Keith knew how to make a bit extra.

One day we wanted to go to the fun fair and we hadn’t got much money so Keith said, ‘I know how we can get more money. We can collect all the pop bottles.’ So we went from one end of Rhyl to the other collecting pop bottles. Keith knew which shops sold White’s pop and which sold Tizer so we trundled along with bottles galore and we’d get the deposits back on them. At the end of the day we had more money than when we started out - and we were doing the council a good turn keeping the beach tidy. It was a brilliant idea so we did it day after day and we got lots of money to spend at the fun fair. We’d go on all the rides and eat as much sticky stuff as we possibly could. Keith and I stayed friends for many years. I don’t know what’s happened to him now but he was brilliant at making money.

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Margaret Hoyle:  NHS Retirement Fellowship



I grew up in Cumbria near Carlisle where my parents were farmers. In the 1960s my seaside holidays were usually spent in Blackpool. I used to go with my auntie and uncle and my cousin, their only daughter who was a similar age to me. We would go for a week at the end of July or the beginning of August, just after the schools had closed. We went on the bus from Carlisle to Blackpool. It must have taken two or three hours.

Once we arrived, we’d get sorted out at the boarding house on the North Shore where we were staying before going to the beach. Blackpool was lovely but always very busy. When you walked down the street there were loads of people but there was plenty of space on the beach. We would have a paddle in the sea, get dried off and then, towards the end of the afternoon, the big bonus for a ten or eleven year-old at Blackpool - having a ride on the donkeys. Being from a farming family I was used to animals and trotting along the beach and back again on a donkey was just great. I think it cost about a shilling (5 pence) but my auntie and uncle would pay for it. We went on the donkeys most days because they realised how much we enjoyed it.

Although we’d always spend lots of time on the beach I don’t swim and never wanted to learn after falling into the sea on one holiday. I was walking along the rocks and slipped off into the water. I was petrified and it made me very wary of the sea after that. For me it was always the donkeys that made my seaside holidays.

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Roz Taylor: NHS Retirement Fellowship



At the beginning of the sixties, I lived in Birmingham and I was about sixteen when we went on our first family holiday. I had four younger brothers and sisters and we all went to Anglesey during the last week in July, which was the first week of the fortnight everyone had off work.

It was a very long journey and the traffic was unbelievable, nose-to-tail all the way. We went up the A5 through Betws-y-Coed  and got lost. There was a terrible rainstorm and going through the mountains you had to be very careful of the rock falls. We all pulled over to the side of the road while it was raining heavily because you just couldn’t see where you were going and there were some rocks falling. My dad said, ‘I know a short cut.’ We drove off the main road and went about five miles down a farm track, just two ruts and a grassy bit in the middle. We couldn’t turn the car around so we had to keep going until we got to the end and then go all the way back to rejoin the main road. That was Dad’s short cut.

We stayed at an old lighthouse down a long track. It was very high up, one of the highest points on Anglesey from where you could see all the way to the Isle of Man. They had built a new lighthouse nearer the coast so this one was redundant and was turned into a holiday bungalow. The front of one room had really thick glass where the light used to be but the rest of it was just like a normal bungalow.

The old lighthouse was surrounded by farmland and there were some young bullocks in the next field to where we were. Rawhide was popular on the television and one of my brothers decided he was going to be a cowboy for the afternoon. He decided he would round all the bullocks but he got a bit scared when one turned and looked at him. He ran and scaled the gate and never went back into the field again.

In Anglesey, Dad’s driving was still a problem. He decided he was going to take us to Rhosneigr where he was stationed when he was in the army. On the way there was a huge traffic island and we had to turn off the road but Dad just kept going round and round the island saying, ‘There’s the sea, there’s the sea.’ I said, ‘No, Dad, there are clouds in that sea.’ We never actually found the sea or got to Rhosneigr.

On another day we went to Red Wharf Bay and saw the Red Arrows. They had just come into being and were practising over the Bay. What we didn’t know was that where Dad had parked the car on the sands, the tide had started coming in and was surrounding us. I ended up chasing my shoes as they went floating off on the tide.

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