Editor’s let­ter

EDP Norfolk - - Editor’s Letter -

LIKE so many things, the sea­side al­ways seemed big­ger and bet­ter when we were kids.

I have very vivid mem­o­ries of spend­ing time on Nor­folk's blowy strands; Cart Gap, fea­tured in this is­sue, was a bit of a favourite. One year – I'm pretty sure it was the swel­ter­ing sum­mer of '76 – it seemed that ev­ery week­end we would load up the fam­ily’s green Vaux­hall Vic­tor es­tate with foot­balls, deckchairs, cricket sets, fris­bees (which were a bit of a thing in the 70s) and the es­sen­tial wind­breaks.

Mum would turn a loaf of white Sun­blest, in a waxed wrap­per of course, into a tranche of thickly-but­tered tinned salmon and cu­cum­ber sand­wiches and gather bags of Mon­ster Munch, pack­ets of bis­cuits and bot­tles of Corona to­gether. We used to have a Corona man de­liver pop to the vil­lage ev­ery week; pocket money was to be earned col­lect­ing the emp­ties at 1p for bot­tles with a white cap, 2p for the pre­mium gold ones.

We also used to have a baker do­ing the rounds; it was Wraggs of Swaffham if I re­call cor­rectly, though it might have been Waggs. Our fam­ily favourite was the jam dough­nuts, five of them in a card­board tray, a num­ber guar­an­teed to cause ten­sion in any fam­ily of four. Why did they do that? In fact why do they still do that?

But I di­gress. Fully laden we'd roll out of the vil­lage, form a con­voy with the other fam­i­lies in­volved and strike out for the sea­side. One of the mi­nor ir­ri­ta­tions of Cart Gap is that it was (is) a bit of a trudge to the beach with arms full of deckchair and Mon­ster Munch, but it was worth it when we hit those largely empty sands.

Long days of sim­ple fun en­sued, with much tear­ing around, brac­ing dips, cheer­fully gritty grub and mildly grit-blasted, very pink, skin. Sun­screen? No thanks; we'll baste our­selves in oil like oven-ready chick­ens and see what oc­curs.

At the end of the day came a de­tour to the Ris­ing Sun at Coltishall for Coke and a bag of ready salted for the kids and some­thing more in­vig­o­rat­ing for grown-ups.

We'd ar­rive home, drowsy, a lit­tle crispy at the edges, car­ry­ing more sand in your shorts than re­ally ideal, but to­tally happy.

If this rather self-in­dul­gent wan­der through the dunes of my mem­ory has any pur­pose it is re­ally to say that al­though what I’ve de­scribed has that slightly faded, hazy qual­ity, like a photo from a 70s fam­ily al­bum, thou­sands of fam­i­lies will do pretty much ex­actly what I've de­scribed this week­end on some beau­ti­ful Nor­folk beach some­where.

There may be more sour­dough than Sun­blest and the Mon­ster Munch will yield to some ar­ti­san smoked Gruyère and shaved shal­lot crisps, but the essen­tials are still the same; sim­ple, joy­ful fun.

And that is as it should be. So if you weren’t plan­ning a trip to the coast maybe the gor­geous places Nor­folk has to of­fer and that we’ve fea­tured this month can tempt you. Just re­mem­ber to leave your mo­bile and your iPad at home oth­er­wise you may get grit in your port and no­body needs that.

Do­minic Cas­tle Editor, EDP Nor­folk Mag­a­zine 01603 772758 / 07725 201153 do­minic.cas­tle@archant.co.uk

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