Popularity of Dalton’s beach
One of the most popular parts of the beach was ‘Dalton’s beach‘, just east of the Palace Pier. On sunny days in summer, that beach was packed. You trod your way through masses of family groupings until you found a tiny space to fit yourself in. Tides made a difference to where you planted yourself. If the tide was coming in, those at the front had to keep moving back. Things were easier when the tide was going out and more of the beach was reclaimed.
Quite a walk to the sea
Once the tide had gone right out there was a huge swathe of sand. Kids made sandcastles while older children and adults enjoyed walking across the sand and then wading, slowly, into the sea. It was quite a walk. Some people had the necessary Lilos to enable them to float. Others had blown-up car inner tubes; good to lounge around in when the tide was coming in but potentially less so when it was going out.
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When you went swimming, you left your clothes in a pile, covered by your towel. No one thought that there was any chance of your things being stolen. The beach was covered with loads of people, covered in suntan lotion, lying on their backs trying to go a very dark brown. A tanned body, at that time, was also a ‘healthy’ body. We have learned a lot, since then.
The nudist beach
The beach to the west of the Palace Pier was popular, but no match for ‘Dalton’s beach‘; I do not know why. Much further east, was the beach to the left of the Banjo groyne. This was a quieter beach, usually with plenty of room for settlers. Maybe it was the distance from the centre of town that made the Banjo beach more exclusive. Perhaps all these differences in popularity of various beaches related to tides, the wind and the distribution of sand. Later, in the 1970s, me and my wife went to the nudist beach. We did not stay long; we both decided that people probably look better with their clothes on.