Southport beach

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I’m officially on leave for five glorious weeks. Even if the sun doesn’t shine every day it’s still glorious having more time to relax and recharge the old batteries and having weekdays at my disposal to do as I please. Monday was scorching hot; too hot to do anything except laze around in my garden for most of the day – so that’s exactly what I did.

Yesterday was another very hot day and I decided to brave the sticky discomfort of travelling on a hot and potentially crowded train to Southport, the nearest seaside resort to my home, 35 minutes away on the west Lancashire coast. I wasn’t going for a paddle – though the idea was tempting on such a sweltering day – but because I wanted to buy some curtains from a well-known retailer which happens to have a store on the sea-front retail park. I dislike shopping and tend to do it online when I can, but at least this was for something specific (quick in and out) and the beach was a bonus. The train wasn’t too bad as the schools around here don’t break up until tomorrow or Friday – next week will be a different story.

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The sea was in when I arrived. To me, nothing is as soothing as the gentle rhythmic rolling of waves, and I can happily sit for a couple of hours, just listening. I think I was about 40 when I first saw high tide at Southport beach; all through my childhood that sight had evaded me and, like many people, I had come to believe that the water never advanced any further forward than a point about half a mile out. As kids, we always had to walk for 20 minutes just to get our toes wet.

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Southport is a different place now to the exciting resort that I remember from my childhood. But that can be said of everywhere, and change isn’t always a bad thing. British coastal waters are certainly much cleaner now, for sure. I don’t think people worried too much about that back in the day, or possibly were not even aware. I don’t ever remember being told in the 1970s that I shouldn’t go into the Irish sea, though in the 1990s I was certainly saying that as a mum myself. Fortunately, legislation and Health & Safety initiatives have improved seas for recreation, if not yet sufficiently for marine animals, sadly and shamefully.

In the 1970s Suthport was buzzing. It had a big funfair with the usual thrilling rides, candy floss kiosks and all the rest. There’s still a fair now though a much scaled-down version. Though Southport is known as a retirement town, the young families still arrive and appear to enjoy its charms. I was happy to see buckets and spades still seem as popular as ever with the little ones.

It’s amazing how quickly the tide turns, both incoming and outgoing. The seaweed-strewn sand was revealing more and more of itself as I sat and reminisced. Reluctantly, I dragged myself up and across the coast road to get some lunch and search for curtains. In the end I found that the ones I’d liked online were a pale imitation in reality; a bit like memories and the present day. I didn’t feel that I’d wasted my time though

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Crossing the road back to the beach I saw that during the hour-and-a-half or so that I’d been gone, the sea had also gone, leaving pools and rivulets and sand sculptures fashioned by the waves.

Closer to the sea wall, the grasses gently moved in the delicious breeze. I could have been somewhere far away, tantalisingly exotic…. as long as I didn’t look behind and back across that road 🙂

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14 thoughts on “Southport beach

  1. Eunice July 18, 2019 / 11:29 am

    What a coincidence that you should write this post. I was in Southport just over a week ago and was very surprised that after many years of not seeing the sea there the tide was in – I told my son when I got back home and he was surprised too. A guy who works where I clean in the evenings actually lives in Southport and he’s never seen the tide in either!

    I remember when where the seafront retail park is now used to be part of the beach, only separated from the main beach by the coast road. There used to be a café built out over the beach with the entrance at road level, if you took a picnic you could hire deck chairs and get big jugs of tea or coffee to go with it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the Beautiful North July 18, 2019 / 11:39 am

      I think I remember that cafe, Eunice. The retail park really is a blot on the landscape but a necessary evil, I expect, in a town that can no longer survive on selling seaside rock and hiring out deck chairs alone. It’s just a shame that it’s in that spot. It’s very incongruous. The old steamer is no longer in operation on Marine Lake and the big outdoor paddling pool which I adored as a child is long gone. I guess retail is the future to a large extent 😟.

      Like

  2. nanacathy2 July 18, 2019 / 1:04 pm

    My Mum used to go there as a child in the 1930s. She spoke of sand dunes and lizards!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. shazza July 18, 2019 / 4:50 pm

    Southport is somewhere I haven’t been since Woh maybe 1990. The tide was miles out and my boyfriend then actually drove on the beach! Enjoy your time off. I’m sure you will be getting out and about lots. X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ms6282 July 24, 2019 / 7:28 am

    I haven’t been to Southport for ages, but did make a flying visit a couple of weeks ago. I’d decided to take the train into work. Just 2 stops on the line to Kirkby. While I was waiting on the platform I was distracted by a phone call. The train drew in. I jumped on. The doors closed and the train set off. Then there was an announcement – next stop Southport (not stopping at stations in between for some reason). Oops.

    Liked by 1 person

      • ms6282 July 24, 2019 / 4:07 pm

        I think so. And I think that’s why it wasn’t stopping st the other stations. But, I have to admit, I felt a fool as soon as I heard the announcement on the train! Luckily the guard was sympathetic (and probably amused, as she gave me a smile!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Welcome to the Beautiful North July 24, 2019 / 7:22 pm

        You’re not the first and you won’t be the last. 🙂I’m sure the guards are used to it. I once boarded a pendalino at Preston for the 10 minute journey to Wigan – only it didn’t stop there. The first and only stop was Euston. I got on at 3pm and finally got home at 11pm. The worst of it was that I had asked the smart a#*e guard if the train went through Wigan, and he confirmed that it did. When I challenged him the following week he thought it was funny and told me I should have posed a different question.

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