There’s something about living in Sheffield which makes
everyone delighted to be at the seaside, whatever the weather
and however far away the sea may be at low tide. The sea air,
the traditional amusements, ice cream, candy floss and sticks of
rock and the typical sounds of the seaside: children’s voices,
seagulls, amusement arcades and rides as well as the wind in
your waterproof hood and the patter of rain on the pavement.
The smell of fish and chips and of shells and seaweed deposited at the last high tide, of doughnuts and coffee stalls, these all make up the Cleethorpes experience.
Many of us have been going to Cleethorpes for up to 60 or so
years and all have happy memories of times there. Some
remember enjoying it as children, having a name label pinned
to their lapel so as not to get lost amongst the coach loads of
other children from Working Men’s clubs. Some have holidayed
there with our own young families and friends and some have
gone for day trips, latterly mainly watching the families on the
beach, digging sandcastles and eating ice cream in spite of the
English summer weather. Some of us used to cycle, some
rented a caravan, some of us travelled there by train arriving
with fishing nets and sandwiches almost onto the beach.
Some of us remember best the amusements and rides including the donkeys; some remember building sandcastles and getting sunburnt. Others remember the ride in a pony-trap to see the sea when the tide was really low- so far out it is almost impossible to see and can be judged only by the ships seen on the horizon, waiting to be able to sail into Grimsby port.
Our own annual outing to Cleethorpes took place in September,
with 21 of us in our comfortable coach, provided as ever by
Gordon’s Coaches, speeding towards the coast in eager
anticipation of the exhilarating day ahead as well as the
comforting familiarity of the experience. The sky was dramatic
over the flat countryside but it was sunny and we were
optimistic about the weather once we were there.
We enjoyed our lunch of fish and chips and wonderful salads
accompanied by bread and butter and lots of hot tea at the
Ocean fish bar where the service was as ever friendly and kind.
As we emerged from the warmth of the restaurant, we noticed
it had been raining so up went the umbrellas and out came the
waterproofs and blankets and we set off for a walk to the
sea the front.
Early September can be gorgeous and even hot but not that
day. We walked back to our coach against the bracing wind and
with brollies blowing inside out but enjoying the sounds, sights
and smells of the place as well as each other’s company and
having a laugh.