The undercliff walk a place to reflect on magic and mystery.
I live on the south coast now but am old enough to remember the time
when a visit to the seaside after the war was a truly memorable experience
The Sunday School Outing
The first time many London children had seen the sea.
Those given tiny pictures of Jesus with a prayer for
good attendance climbed into the charabanc with
a packed lunch wrapped in pieces of washed cotton.
Girls clung to friends boys scrambled to the back
singing ‘Oh we do like to be beside the seaside’ to pass
the time until Miss Blossom insisted on something more
suitable like ‘Jesus bids us shine like a clear bright light’.
On arrival we’d huddle on ex army ground sheets braver
girls tucked Sunday best dresses into school knickers to
paddle while boastful boys discarded shoes and socks to run
headlong into the waves wet through for the rest of the day.
At one o’clock precisely it was time to eat Marmite sandwiches
to sip weak orange drinks before dedicated helpers snatch
a nap and we’d creep away to annoy crabs and build sand
castles towers and turrets to decorate with slipper shells.
Pocket money collected in advance and added to church
funds ensured every child queued for ice cream
buoyed with confidence it was time to bury the lay preacher
up to his shoulders in the sand.