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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 2, June 2017
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Patricia Prime
Auckland, New Zealand


A Day at the Seaside

sliding a knife
into our piggy-banks
the coins counted

Southend-on-Sea or Brighton? Which was it to be? Both seaside resorts were only a couple of hour’s drive from where we lived. Six of us packed into the Austin Seven, along with a picnic, buckets and spades, swimming costumes, towels and the dog.

Southend had The Kursaal, a gigantic fun fair, with dodgems, ghost train, slot machines, roundabouts and more. Brighton had a Victorian miniature train ride that ran along the seafront and out to the pier, where there was a theatre, a music hall, amusement arcade and a café. On the beach, there were Punch ‘n’ Judy shows, donkey rides or a magician to entertain the crowds.

The decision was made—Southend. Arriving at the beach, we donned our costumes. Made from wool and knitted by our mother, they became very heavy once they were wet. After splashing in the sea for a while, we changed and made sandcastles with moats round them, which we filled with buckets of sea water. After a picnic lunch, mum gave us money to buy ice creams and our big sister took us by the hand across road. Later, our parents took us to The Kursaal where we spent our pocket money on candy floss, a stick of pink rock, with the word “Southend” magically printed through it, or a toffee apple.

Hot, sandy, sticky and tired, we piled into the car for the journey home. The youngest children slept most of the way, while my sister and I played “I Spy” or “Who can spot first”—a man on a bike, a dog, or the first white car.

in the darkness
a shooting star
we make a wish

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