Days at Tynemouth Beach and Saltwell Park

Our mothers would send us for hot water to the kiosk for their tea - we had pop.

Photo of Tynemouth BeachThere were regular outings for us before the War but had to stop for the War. After the War ended in 1945 people were desperate to get to the beach when the sun shone.

As my father worked long hours it was left to my mother to take us for outings. We got the train to Newcastle, then the best bit – an open topped tram to Saltwell Park. Having ice cream, running around the park was all wonderful but the best times for me were at Tynemouth Beach. We went with our friends, the Bennetts, both before and after the war. We used to build a large, flat-topped mound in the sand, then a tablecloth was put over it. We raced into the water, which was freezing, but we loved it, making sandcastles, looking for winkles and crabs in the rock pools.

When we returned after a couple of hours, hungry, our mothers would send us for hot water to the kiosk for their tea. We had pop; then the sandwiches were dished out and no matter how we tried the sand always got into our sandwiches, but we didn’t care – they tasted lovely. Then it was up to Tynemouth Station, you could not get a bus – they were packed. With nine of us, we had no chance. The station was a mass of people in queues, sometimes waiting for over an hour before you got on, but we always got home safely, went to bed tired but contented after a great day. Our mothers must have loved us very much to do what they did which must have been, for them, a very tiring day looking after all of us.

There was also tragedy at Tynemouth on one particular hot day, I think it was in 1947. People in their thousands invaded the beach and, despite the warnings, five people drowned – one of them a girl called Marjorie Weatherstone from the ‘Buildings’. Her dad had a shop of the corner of Wallsend Road. Her death upset me a lot because the night before I was playing with her and her friend, Joan Bramwell, around her dad’s shop.

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