Sunday best was de rigueur for a stroll on the pier

SEE WORTHY ... wearing your Sunday best for a pier stroll in 1912.
SEE WORTHY ... wearing your Sunday best for a pier stroll in 1912.

WELL, wasn’t I the whimp?

My memories of retreating inside the tent that, as a child, we would take on the beach at Shields, to eat my sandwiches and escape the North Sea’s more boisterous breezes turn out not to accord with at least one reader’s recollections of the same era.

He writes: “In the late 1950s, we would be down first thing to get a tent and a good position on the beach.

“The tent was used by most people only for changing into swimming costumes, not as stated, for ‘loitering.’

“In those days even if a cool breeze was blowing, the older people would still sit in the deck chairs, but wrap a coat around themselves.”

Loitering in a tent - I like that!

Certainly swaddling yourself up to still enjoy the sea view and the lung-cleansing air was - still is - part of the appeal of a visit to the front.

Or a walk along the South Pier.

This is a charming picture from Kevin Blair which goes back to just a few years before the First World War, when you wore your Sunday best for a pier stroll.

Slightly hair-raising, though, is the folk going off in small boats from that little rocky spit on the harbour-side of the pier, and a not a lifebuoy in sight...