Ancient History

Old pictures.

Here’s my granny and grandpa on a holiday to Lyme Regis in the late ’60s or early ’70s. We had a chalet.

They look cheerful, don’t they?

Inside (just visible) a bunk bed: I had the top bunk, granny the bottom. There was another bed that flipped down from the wall, replacing the tiny Formica-topped table. Sink with cold water tap – but no loo. So we had to nip round to the public loos behind the yacht club each time we needed a pee. Granny was very hot on hygiene so we had to make a little toilet paper seat out of the horrid shiny loo paper each time before we went. The loos were scary but Gran was scarier so I felt quite safe as long as she was with me.

There was one dangly bare 40W electric light bulb. It kept me awake – it was right at eye level for me in the top bunk.

We dangled a crab basket – baited with a fish head – into the harbour to catch harbour crabs. When we had a several in our bucket we’d tip them out to see which would win the race back to the edge and drop into the water.  One day we caught an eel in the basket; as it wriggled I thought it was a snake and screamed. Then I was mortified because all the grown ups (including Gran and Gramps) laughed. There was sewage in the sea and trampolines on the beach but they were expensive so I just had one go.

We went mackrel fishing and ate the fish filleted and cooked in a little vinegar and water. One day Grandpa went fishing with some of his friends and they caught a four-foot long conger eel.

Next: Dad on a roof, fixing a tv aerial. The van was our only transport. It had a bench seat at the front. Once Dad braked to avoid a dog and I banged my nose on the dashboard.

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