Poor Bob had to listen to my reminiscences [punctuated by 'no, turn left here, now!'] about the man from the bank, who came at lunchtime in his suit and bowler hat, carrying brolly and briefcase. He would sit on a seat and get out his sandwiches, and the squirrels [red ones] would gather round and run up and down the handle of the umbrella, placed against the bench, and nibble at bits of sandwich. I used to love sirtting on the bench and watching their antucs.
Bob found a parking place and we got out and walked through Fisherman's Walk - which is still there. About 1000 years ago, men from Holdenhurst, a few miles inland, would walk this path down to the sea, to go out fishing - and smuggling. This continued for centuries- but 100 years ago, the final part of the route became this little park. Ten years ago, a group "Friends Of Fisherman's Walk" got together to ensure this lovely area full of wildlife and trees, would be preserved for future generations.
As you enter, there are informative signs, and birds [cormorants?] atop the pillars
There are lovely wooden sculptures, with the native plants and creatures carved on them.
No squirrels and bankers to entertain us this year - but just a couple of guys who had slung a tightrope between two trees. They were very good.And we saw a three year old with a very fancy remote controlled child-sized model BMW car.
The family were enjoying steering it along the paths - but he was refusing point blank to climb into the vehicle!
There was a pond, with a fountain and water lilies - and then you crossed the road to the cliff top.
We looked down at the blue waters and golden sands [somewhere in 1961, I lost my favourite bucket whilst playing on the beach!] We decided not to go down in the Cliff Lift.
Bob took my photograph as I peered through the fat-lady-in-a-bikini cutout. That wasn't there in my childhood - and even if it had been, my Mum would never have countenanced such vulgarity!!
We did used to play crazy golf [that's still there] but I couldn't see The Shell House. When I got home, I researched it, and found that sadly it was demolished 15 years ago due to excessive vandalism.
As Bob pointed out, it is possibly a little unreasonable of me to expect things to remain unchanged over the course of half a century! I must stop looking through rose coloured spectacles