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Mandy’s Day at the Beach

The war closed the seaside you just didn’t go down to the seaside it just wasn’t safe. When it first opened up again after the war it was busy.


Day at the Seaside project August 2012
Interviewee: Mandy Campbell born in North Shields 1932

The nearest sands where I lived was the Fish Quay sands. I used a bucket and spade, did a bit paddling. I didn’t go in swimming. The Fish Quay sands were at the mouth of the Tyne and it wasn’t very clean. Things were too expensive at that time to have anything special. I went to the Spanish City now and then, that would be when I got to be about 14. I spent my teenage years at the Plaza. There used to be a rink on the outside where you used to go skating.

I went with an older brother. I think there was a lot of my friends there and we played as a group. Sometimes I would go to the Long Sands with my mum and elder sisters and brother. My mum used to sit on a deckchair. This is before the war and in those days she used to sit there with her big coat on and a hat. That was the norm mums, used to do that. After I got married I used to go down with the family and then later with grandchildren.

As I got older and went down onto the Long Sands I had a knitted swimming costume. Not very good. It was very, very uncomfortable, especially when you were sitting on the sand. When we went to the Long Sands we used to take sandwiches and a bottle of water.

I didn’t live far from where we used to go so it was just a case of going down there to play and then home. I walked actually, we walked everywhere. I just enjoyed it if the weather was good you just went down and played and that was it. I didn’t like the sand getting in everywhere.

The war closed the seaside. You just didn’t go down to the seaside then, it was all barb wired off and the swimming pool was closed. The Tyne was very busy with ships and it just wasn’t safe to go down. When it first opened up again after the war it was busy. Now you can get a meal where sometimes you used to be able to stand in a queue and get a cup of tea, it’s all changed that.
Where we used to go down to the Fish Quay sands it’s completely different today. There was no promenade or anything like that. No ice cream vans. We very seldom had ice creams.

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