It was a summer morning. I was asleep in a comfortable bed. The first shafts of morning were starting to peep through the curtains.
Then…..rumble…..roar…..rumble….rumble. What the hell is that at this time of the morning? I’m awake now, wanting to know what this noise is.
It’s the first express train of the day from London to Cornwall, thundering it’s way along the line just 150 yards from the front door. The noise seems endless….and then it disappears….the train has entered the tunnel to it’s next destination.
It’s August 1979. The weather is glorious. I’m on holiday in Devon. I’m only a stone’s throw from the beach on one of the most idyllic stretches of coastline anywhere in the UK. I struggle to get back to sleep. The roar of the train has woken me up. But I remember. I’m on holiday. This is how it’s meant to be. Then the seagulls start their raucous cacophony.
I go back to sleep for a while. Mum and Dad wake me up and it’s time for breakfast. The radio is on. Dad has been to the shop for his newspaper. I switch on the TV. I turn over to ITV. Nothing. Just a blue screen stating that are no programmes due to an industrial dispute. It’s been a year of strikes and discontent amongst British workers. But I’m only seven years old. What do I know? Not a lot really.
Then it’s time to get ready, get my bucket and spade and make our way to the beach. Golden sands, clear water. We pitch our deckchairs and stay there for the rest of another glorious summer’s day. I’m in and out of the water, looking a bedraggled mess by day’s end. But this is a holiday. Good times. Good memories. Admiring my Dad’s suntan. Watching Mum squeeze her way into a swimming costume. The memories are wonderful. And on a wet July evening that I’m looking at right now, August 1979 was very memorable.
Allen Brooks xx