Stone ‘igloos’ kept us cosy when sea breezes blew

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The stone igloos which kept us cosy on South Shields beach

Does anyone else remember these? I do, from when there were remnants of these little ‘corrals’ on the big beach, still, in the 1950s and 1960s. They were wonderful for taking shelter in from the North Sea breezes – which was their intention, I assume, when they were originally constructed.

The picture comes from Caroline Barnsley, author of the recently published South Shields Through The Ages.

She was intrigued by these little ‘igloos’ made of rocks. Says Caroline: “They seem to have been above where the tide would have come in.”

It’s interesting to speculate how far back they went on the beach, and to who had the first idea of constructing them.

The card was posted, by the way, to a Master John Weston in Wolverhampton in 1947, with the message: “Dear John, I am having a fine time in South Shields. The weather is fine and I have been on the beach every day, Cheerio, Alan.” A happy ‘customer’ by the sound of it, although I think the card itself was from before the war, rather than after it.