Sandy sarnies on South Shields beach

Marsden beach at the height of the holiday season in 1959.
Marsden beach at the height of the holiday season in 1959.

Family and food were the two main memories that came flooding back to readers when we took to Facebook to ask them what they enjoyed most about spending time at the sands?

Caroline Edwardson took to social media to post: “Getting all of Gran’s provisions down on to the beach; a sea fret blowing over and getting back up those steps with leaden legs!”

Sheila Brook said: “Happy memories, grandparents and aunts and uncles, lots of cousins, lots of fun.”

Joanie Malone revealed how: “I had a daily trip down to that beach. I used to ride the donkeys from the field at The Nook where the leisure centre is, all the way down to that beach, very early morning. There were about 12 donkeys that we rode on and another on a lead. I loved the sound of the hooves on the road, when we went down the stone steps at the bottom of Marsden Bank, then they had their working day on the sands.

“This went on throughout the summer holidays.

“I was as brown as a berry, we all were because we spent our days outside. Happy days.”

Lesley New posted on social media how she recalled: “Coming back to the tent with an armful of chips from Frankie’s cafe for all my aunties, uncles, mum, dad and cousins. The days when whole families got together.”

Pauline Clouston talked about: “Egg, tomato and sand sandwiches. A bottle of lemonade and chips on the way home (if you had been good). Also walking back to Whitley Bay train station. Shattered.”

There were more summery memories from Susan Sinclair, who said: “Hot sunny carefree days on the beach, feeling safe and looking for crabs at the Groyne, as well as eating sandy sandwiches that still tasted good.”

Food was also uppermost in Vic Hall’s mind when he commented: “Couldn’t fault the egg and tomato sarnies, with a sprinkling of sand, along with a bottle of water and a paddle in the sea, then a game of footy and then bus home.”

Chris Dolan remembers how “the trolley bus from Bede Trading Estate was part of the excitement”, while Caroline Codling remembers “sandwiches with sand in, and brother and cousin getting bit by jelly fish, ha ha”.

Elizabeth Guttridge mentioned “jam sarnies, bottled water, a shilling for a bag of chips, best days of me life x”.

James Brian Spiers got in touch to reveal how “we used to walk from Boldon to the beach with a pack of sandwiches and liquorice water, home-made, of course.

“Tomato and sand sandwiches, with Tizer, and then a bag of chips to finish off.”

Gloria Young also remembers getting the “economic bus from Boldon”.

Moira Smith went online to talk about “rounders with anyone who would play, exhausting but great fun” while Glenys Bainbridge spoke of “Egg and tomato and sand sandwiches”, as did Moira Coyle.

Also recalling the past were Joyce Smith and Norma Bolingbroke, who summed the days on the sand by saying: “Hot sunny days, happy memories.”

Meanwhile, even more readers took to Facebook to comment about the best and worst things they ever made at school.

Pauline Clouston said: “The best thing I made was a Christmas cake from scratch. Even made the marzipan from scratch. I iced a five-pointed star on top. Had to trace it on to the cake. The worst things were my bread buns, they were rock hard. My Dad threatened to build a wall with them!”

Joanne Byrne added: “I remember making a baby bear in bed cake (re. Goldilocks),” while Caroline Edwardson highlighted “an apple pie – I couldn’t get the pastry to roll out! Pleased to say that I have improved since then”.

Doreen Robinson posted: “Think our cookery teacher had us starching more than cooking, it was called home studies, she must have had the stiffest sheets and tablecloths in Jarra.”