Seaside Holidays in the 1950s

In the North-east seaside trips were often chilly affairs. The sea was cold and there always seemed to be a brisk wind blowing towards the beach. We ate tomato sandwiches as a picnic, heavily laced with sand whipped up by the wind. Everyone hired deck chairs and wind-breaks from the promenade.

Our swimsuits (girls) were elasticised ruched affairs, where the sand got trapped in the fabric. Buckets and spades were enamelled metal and we would have shrimping nets for the rock pools. We built sand castles and 'buried' friends and family in the sand.

Few people had cars so the trains that ran from Newcastle to the coast were always busy, especially if the weather was kind. Ice cream cornets or wafer sandwiches were the sea-side treat.

It was common to bring home a strand of kelp (seaweed) to hang on the washing line to predict rain. Hard and dry - out went the washing; slimey and soft - rain on the way.

Dorne Coggins