22 June 2015
at the beach
These pictures never cease to astound me - an outing to the beach just a short walk from home. That's Aunt Eileen in the middle, my mum on her left, me on her right. I imagine there was another auntie - Lily probably - taking the snap. We cousins were busy paddling, digging holes and probably trying to build sandcastles.
Take a closer look and you might notice the warehouses in the distance, and is that a tug there on the left?
This, you see, is "Tower Beach" and it's the River Thames we're paddling in. Tower Bridge is just out of shot and the Tower of London would be just in front of us. At low tide, a fantastic set of wooden steps were lowered from the quay so you could descend with your deck chairs and sit on the imported sand until the tide came back in again. If you were daring, or maybe just hot, you could get into the river and paddle. The River Police used to visit our school regularly to warn us about the risks from swimming in the Thames so I doubt any of us would have dreamed of going in deeper than our knees.
I was talking to my mum the other a couple of days ago about taking the train somewhere. "Oh, I've never been one for going very far" she said. A few hours at Tower Beach would probably still be her idea of the perfect holiday if it was still there, Actually, I think I might quite enjoy another visit myself.