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Thursday, 15 July 2010

The curse of the mushy peas!

If you were going on a traditional British seaside holiday what foods would you expect to eat nowadays?

When I was a child going to places like Bridlington or Skeggy with my parents we would have a full English Breakfast at the B&B and take sandwiches out for lunch or as a treat get fish and chips from some greasy parlour on the sandy way to the seafront. We used to wolf these down as the vicious seagulls were constantly hovering over our heads and were pitiless in their dive bombing tactics.

We may have had whelks or cockles and mussels but I don’t think we ever got tempted by jellied eels and if we could be prised from the penny arcades we were treated to some seaside rock, a garish pink and sticky candy floss or quickly melting ice cream.

Never did we go to a restaurant as you just didn’t as a working class family of six. Such a thing wasn’t even considered. The Bed and Breakfast or Guest House accommodation we ‘enjoyed’ would have the option of adding an evening meal to your stay and each night we would troop back from the beach, trailing sand all through the Guest House and after a tense hour of our parents making us presentable for ‘those downstairs’ we would shyly return to the dining room for our evening meal. The strict table manners of home had no let up whilst on holiday!!

It probably cost my Mum and Dad a fair amount of money to take the whole family on a week’s holiday in the 1960s and I continued to holiday with them until I was about seventeen and going on holiday with one’s parents and younger siblings was no longer cool. No more end of pier shows starring Jimmy Tarbuck, Ken Dodd or Bruce Forsyth. Now it was going to be dodgy mid 1970s Belgian discos and smoochy dancing with a sweet Scottish lass from Falkirk to ‘Feelings’ by Morris Albert .

‘Feelings, nothing more than feelings,
Trying to forget my feelings of love.
Teardrops rolling down on my face,
Trying to forget my feelings of love.

Feelings, for all my life I'll feel it.
I wish I've never met you, girl;
You'll never come again.

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feel you again in my arms.

That’s enough of that soppy nonsense!!! Bring on the Belgian beers!!!


Oostende in Belgium was ├╝ber cool and the drinking age limit was sixteen! Belgian beer and waffles and cones of frites took the place of the food charms of the English seaside scene and as a young man I could shyly admire the pretty beach babes with my holiday mates and smother my skinny frame in oily gallons of Ambre Solaire. In fact my body was probably more greasy than the greasiest of cod and chips from Greasley’s Fish and Chip Emporium of Grimsby Town. Aaah, those holidays in Grimsby, dead fish on the harbour and terribly bad wind on the headland. Curse those mushy peas!!


Gail's Man said...

The best family holiday I can remember is going to Llandudno. A great (well it was in the 80s) Victorian coastal resort full of charm.
Rye is a fantastic place. Certainly a town for artists.

Dominic Franks said...

off to Skeggy this weekend! Can't wait!

Phil Lowe said...

Never been to Rye GM. Sounds good from your description.

Hey, have a good time Dominic. It's bracing! :0)