My Summer Days at Langland Bay in the Fifties

by John Powell

Rides around the bay at Langland Bay, 1950s

My childhood memories are punctuated with family visits to our tent at Langland. We would walk from our home in Bellevue Road, West Cross, through the cemetery, up through Newton, down the steps to the Convalescent Home and onwards to our tent on what is now the golf course (in the upper left of this picture).

On arrival, we would open up the pale green canvas tent, lay out the table and chairs and if mother or Nanna was with us, put the kettle on for a cup of tea. It was an ideal place for Mums to sit and chat and children to play. Cafes thrived in good weather, selling all the necessities of a day at the seaside including teas, ice creams and the traditional balls, buckets and spades.(The Langland Brasserie is on the site of the café, on the right of the picture).

I would spend my days happily playing with friends who I met there, exploring the rock pools, swimming or walking over the hill towards Caswell and returning without fail to the tent for regular refreshment. For several years there were Punch and Judy shows and donkey rides on the beach and one year, a wartime DUKW, pronounced ‘duck’, an amphibious truck, gave rides around the bay. We got to know other families, such as the Browns, who would also spend nearly every fine summer day at the tent.

The photographs illustrate the throng of people enjoying the beach and many of us can remember that a great number of large buses were needed to transport them there and the queues of people that ensued when it was time to return home.

I remember well that from the age of six to about ten years old, I would sometimes need particular encouragement on the long return journey, as I often felt tired out after a long happy day on the beach.

Nowadays holiday customs have changed dramatically, with people tending to spend their main holiday abroad and their spare time locally, invariably travelling by car. However I for one, look back with affection to my summer days at Langland.

On the left is The Convalescent Homeat Langland Bay, 1950s

Langland Bay on busy winters day in November 2012

As things change, so they stay the same

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