First Camp Site - a Memory of Woolacombe.

Does anyone remember the old camp site run by Mr and Mrs Dymond? It was roughly where Woolacombe Sands is now, near the riding stables. I can recall it was a steep field (no terracing then!) and we used to walk down to the old farmhouse kitchen every morning to get our milk. Mrs Dymond used to ladle the still warm milk into our jug. The facilities were basic - just a couple of toilets on the opposite side of the farm yard. How different it all is now with 'Elf and Safety'!

We had a small 4-berth caravan called Celia for some reason which my dad and my uncle built together.

When that site closed we moved Celia to Cleevewood (now the huge Golden Sands) which was the last place she resided until the 1970s when Dad was asked to move her as she wasn't what they wanted any more. So she came to rest after 20 years good service in my Dad's garden.

Every morning we would go to the bakers to get fresh rolls and then park up on the old road as we called it, now Marine Drive. We would lug all our stuff down across the grass and choose our spot in the dunes for the day. While Dad, my sister and I had fun in the sea jumping the waves and sometimes with wooden body boards (which we called surfing), mum would look after our clothes and start on the rolls for our dinner. We worked up huge appetites!

My Dad showed me how to look for cowrie shells on Barricane Beach, not with much success though and I have now told my grandchildren about this unusual beach.

A treat would be a trip to Ilfracombe in the evening to wander round the little shops by the harbour and perhaps get fish and chips to take back for supper.
All so very simple and not a bit like the holidays kids expect now.
I think we were so very, very lucky not to expect much and I think we enjoyed things a lot more back then.

I have revisited Woolacombe with my grown up children and their children a few times in the last couple of years. It is still much the same and unspoiled thankfully although much, much busier than ever.

I was pleased eventually to have a meal in the Red Barn for the first time last August - a lovely cooked breakfast - before we returned home.

This is my most special place on earth with so many very happy memories of family holidays and I am glad I have been able to show my children and grandchildren its joys. It all started with my father as a young boy visiting Ilfracombe at the beginning of the 20th century. (I have a photo of him in a sailor suit by the rocks in Ilfracombe). Luckily for me when he had a family of his own he remember the area and found Woolacombe for us all. Thanks Dad!

A memory shared by Anne Bohin on Jul 7th, 2010. Send Anne Bohin a message

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