We normally tried to get the end breaker, by the car park and with the view down the stretch of beach leading up to the steps by the railway. The space between the breakers was insulated from the wind, and the wooden structures, encrusted as they were with seaweed, barnacles and tar, gave a great frame for the foolhardy to play upon.
Along the prominade there were vans selling ice cream and steps over the concrete wall. Even – at one or two points – slip roads so that you could take a boat down to be launched. Or a 4×4, to get stuck in the sand.
The sand on this stretch wasn’t soft and golden, but a solid and always moist clump. Ideal for sand castles, whose moats could be filled from the sea before giving up their defences altogether to the impending tide.
Families would camp there for days, dissuaded only by the rain showers, when they were forced to relocate to the amusement arcades or the pub. The lights bathed the town with a neon glow, behind which, and back up into the hills, the more traditional victorian stone buildings could be seen, weathered and pastel.