1960s Holidays In Newbiggin - a Memory of Newbiggin.

My family, surname Ligema, were friends of Jim Highmoor who ran the scout group at Newbiggin during the 1950s and 60s. Mr Highmoor kindly let us stay for our holidays in the Scout Hut which was situated below the old putting green at the west end of the bay. Anyone remember that? I think the hut was burned down in the early 1970s after we had ceased to come there, and I expect too the putting green is no longer there either. We used to stay in the hut for the entire summer holidays, burning sea coal on the fire and cooking off calor gas and primus stoves. The hut was immediately adjacent to Needles Eye Rocks, and we played constantly on the rocks, climbing around, fishing, playing hide and seek etc. The beach in those days was very sandy, with rock pools abundant at the west end. We would play on the beach for hours, doing mock Olympic games, playing football, volley ball and such like, and much swimming. Dad used to love swimming in the sea, and each year would train himself up to swim the width of the bay from point to point, quite a feat. A friend of Dad's was a Mr. Burridge, who tended an allotment on the way to the scout hut. Mr. Burridge used to swim in the sea every day of the year.We used to consider the west end to be 'our' beach. and very often we did have it to ourselves. Newbiggin in those days was like a paradise to us, and we looked forward all year to our long holidays there. A popular feature was Bertorelli's 'Riviera' cafe at the east end, which housed penny slot machines and sold delicious ice cream. When I visited Newbiggin in 1989, Bertorelli's looked exactly as it had looked in 1960, not changed in any respect. We could buy cooked crab from a house on Front Street, and the best fish and chips in the world from the east end chippie. Sea coal we gathered from the rocky foreshore leading towards Blyth. In those days there was a footbridge leading out towards Needles Eye, which I believe is no longer there. There were donkey rides and boat trips available on the beach, and cobles drawn up for the fishing. I could write for hours about that wonderful place, it was indeed our heaven. I hope some other people share my memories of the old Newbiggin, and how wonderful it was, and perhaps even remember the odd family who used to live all summer in the 'Scoot' Hut.

A memory shared by janeligema on May 28th, 2020. Send janeligema a message

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