Wonderful Days - a Memory of Westgate on Sea.

We spent all our warm summer holidays at Westgate. We lived in South London.
My Grandmother lived in Quex Road and we had a caravan on St Crispens caravan site.
I loved getting fish heads from the fish monger to go crabbing.
I loved the level crossing gates, I also loved to stand on the footbridge next to the road bridge at the far end of the station to stand in the smoke from the steam trains. Very H & S.
At the caravan site in Lymington Road, now a small housing estate, I used to listen out for Taffy the baker - it was my job to get 4 doughnuts - they were the best in the world.
Once a week we would go out in the evening to either the Captin Digby, Ramsgate or the Viking, Pegwell Bay.,
A bottle of pop and a packet of crisps with the salt in the small packet.
A trip to Birchington to the icecream palour we would ask for a Knickerblocker glory just because of the name.
In the caravan, during the evenings, the adults would play pontoon and the winnings each night would be put in a jar. On the last night of the holiday the winnings were divided between my sister and I we would then be taken to Dreamland and let loose - we felt very rich.
Another treat was a plate of cockles - 6d
It took over four hours to get to Westgate by road, pre M2 from London. I would look for the Sunderland Flying boat moored at Rochester and there was a competition to spot the sea first. In recent years I saw the decline in Westgate but now am pleased that it has come back.
When the tide went out I used to spend my time at the boating pool with my boats, or if the tide was in, crab fishing.
Dick Warner who lived just off the beach had a boat and my dad and I would help him with the boat. It had wheels on the outside so we could run it up the beach.
I remember the big American flying boat holed itself on a rock and had to beach itself on the big ramp (now gone) by Pavs.
We also called into a chip shop tucked in a side road over the level crossing and buy a bag of bits which were the bits of batter that had fallen off when cooking.
We never went in the winter, but now I have been working in the area and it feels strange to be there in the winter.
I now have a grandson who I am looking forward to taking to Westgate. I am making him the same model boat my dad made for me, I will be so proud - and my dad would also be so proud of his great grandson. Dates 1950 to 1972.
I just wonder if the 1955 photos were taken in August - we might be in them. You could always find us as my mother always sat at the top of the small ramp by Pavs - it was her spot.
I hope you enjoy my memories - they were from a wonderful time - I feel very lucky.
Please make comment if you like Thank you.

A memory shared by grahamleeper1 on Feb 12th, 2020. Send grahamleeper1 a message

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