Sunday, 17 August 2008


Here we all are enjoying ourselves on the beach: my parents, their three sons, our two older cousins - and Stumpy the Welsh corgi.

Location? Definitely Devon, possibly Dawlish Warren.

The year? It has to be around 1956 or '57.

I'm guessing the younger members of the party have been in the sea, 'bathing' as my mother would have called it. But absolutely not before a minimum of one hour has elapsed from the end of our picnic lunch.

Two of us are keeping off the afternoon chill with our new zip-up jackets: they were called 'windcheaters'.

Dad, who clearly has not been in the water, is dressed up in tweed jacket, shirt, tie and pullover.

Our teenage cousins are in the height of Fifties chic - the choker of pop-together beads was the absolute dernier cri....

Meanwhile, check out the totally typical beachwear of the background figures.

Our mother, I feel, is looking a wee bit strained. Hardly surprising.

She would have organised the outing, prepared the picnic and driven all eight of us to the seaside, jammed into the bench-seat Ford Zephyr - and all at the age of approximately fifty, when many women are relaxing into the grandma role.

My father, already far from well, did not outlive the 1950s.

My mother, born in 1908, died ten years ago.

Tuesday 19 August would have been her one hundredth birthday.

1 comment:

barrie k said...

I wish I could pinpoint the location of this super holiday snap! I had always thought it was on the beach at Exmouth but I see there is a clue in the photo that we probably drove up to the North Devon coast. Surely this is proof of global warming. Remember when the sun being out meant blissful warmth and as soon as it went behind a cloud goose bumps would appear and teeth would chatter?!