Sunday, 16 July 2017

Sandcastles and deck chairs beside the River Thames at the Tower of London

It is one of those odd things about growing old that you do begin to question your own memories.

I was telling a friend about building sandcastles beside the Thames in the shadow of Tower Bridge and because she was more than a little sceptical I did just begin to think that I had invented it.

But no I was right.  In 1934 1,500 barge loads of sand were deposited on the stretch of beach in front of the Tower.  It was such a success that during the first five years thousands flocked to sit on the sand beside the river.

By the 1950s when I too played there it was a little less attractive and you were likely to pull up some rather smelly things while building your sandcastles.

But it was still fun.

Sadly it closed in 1971 because it was thought the river was too polluted.

Now I have to say that this surprises me given that when I was growing up we were told that if you fell into the water it was an automatic stomach pump and a spell in hospital.

Twenty years earlier when the beach was opened children swam in the river, paddled in front of their parents and the only concern was if they got out of their depth.

All of which is a lead into the picture of the beech with the Tower behind it and a total absence of sand.

Location; London

Picture; The Tower from the River, from the series London Town and City, issued by Tuck & Sons, date unknown, courtesy of Tuck DB,

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