Crowds On Holiday At Scarborough 1953

A great big helping of beach and sea,
enough for everybody…  just.
Dad’s face red as a tomato.

You can spot newcomers:
white arms, skinny white knees…
so many clean white shirts.

Our sort of people –
you just have to look.
Lots of pale and beige… well-groomed…
No loud men… fast women.

Nothinglike it, I said to him,
the sight of water, change of routine,
to soothe those little hurty things between us.
Didn’t know what I was talking about.

I have my complaints. Donkeys. It isn’t Blackpool!
There’s worse things: spitting,
men with cameras, married or otherwise.
Hot earlier on. A bit of a breeze.

Archie Andrews, what a toff –
setting a good example? my heck!

Man with two voices –
ordinary voice and toff’s voice,
like some folks I know.
We don’t all have a spare suit in the wardrobe!
I saw his lips move.

Nobody watches you when you’re away
Nobody thinks they know all about you.

Our Cath likes it, and has some friends here,
doesn’t miss being at school;
scared of things: the big exam,
being pushed around, she told me,
by girls ‘of nubile age’.
Where did she get that expression?

Last night at bedtime she said,
Mummy, I saw an Angel of God.
We’d only been on the beach.
I know that woman at the microphone.

Why do bandsmen always look like bandsmen?
They could be anything –
plumbers, union men, foundrymen,
but here they’re more like hairdressers –
so much brylcreem,
how they move their hands.

We have to book for the Lido now.
It gets so packed.
Those toilets, though.
Beauty Queens. Where is this,
Hollywood? Only Miss Yorkshire.

Men in tight pants. I couldn’t look.
Barrel-chested, just him and the sky,
all eyes on him, stinging him.
That ladder’s wonky!
And that man’s not shaping. Oh, my goodness…
That high up, they shouldn’t let them!
Formation swimming – Heigh Ho.

Variety’s different to what it was …
more showing off.
Today!  Better than yesterday, they say…
Is it?

All self-contained in their homes and gardens,
behind closed doors?
At least there’s standards.
I will not share a mat on the Helter Skelter,
unless with family,

love Scarborough, but
it’s for the younger ones…amusements.
Knowing they’ve had a wonderful time
means everything to me.
I’ll see my kiddies bringing theirs one day.