The Beach

Not an inch to spare!

Photo:Kingscliff beach, early 1952

Kingscliff beach, early 1952

Photo by Peter Bailey

This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page

Does anyone remeber anything about a 'freak' wave which swept the beach and dragged people into the water claiming lives? This made the news and was round about 1945/50?

By Helen Ripley (07/03/2007)

My mother used to talk about it. She was with me on the Fishmarket beach. I must have been about 2 or 3 so it would have been 1947/8. My grandfather Henry Bolding was the Beach Inspector and in charge of all the fishermens' arches, shops and fishermen, fishing and passenger boats ('Skylark') etc. The wave swept up to the arches and she said that people ran up on to the prom but I can't see that they'd have had time to do that. Some peole were drowned apparently. Perhaps the Brighton and Hove Herald or the Argus records cover it? There also used to be Italian 'Hokey-Pokey' men walking along the beaches selling ice cream. My mother wouldn't let me have an ice cream from them as "They keep it under their beds and it's not very clean". I think she just didn't want me to have an ice. Surely (I now realise) it would have melted under their beds?

By Neville Bolding (21/11/2008)

I see the picture is recorded as 'early' 1952.  By all the hats and coats being worn it could be February!

By Sandra (14/12/2008)

My mother used to talk about the wave - it must have been a tsunami connected with an earthquake somewhere - and it must have been in summer in good weather when lots of people were on the beach.

By Jill T (05/02/2011)

I can remember a big wave that swept up the beach and wrecked all the little shops that were under the prom,the beach was litterd with all sorts of stuff.

By Duffy Watkins (27/03/2011)

I have seen elsewhere on this site about a big wave in the 1920s (not the 1950s). This would fit better with my mother's memory that the wave was when she was a small child.

By Jill T (27/03/2011)

One of my memories is of the pleasure boat the "Martha Gun" which must have been launched in the late 40s early 50s. My father Charlie, played in the band at the launching ceremony.

By John Snelling (17/05/2011)

I was nearly drowned with my mother and the dog when we were belly surfing in Brighton around the Black Rock area. I think I was about nine so possibly around 1960. At least three people died when a 'freak wave' as it was called swept us up into the 20 foot wave - it was as if we were in a tumble dryer with the pebbles - terrifying then it sucked us back out again.

By Sue Evans (20/01/2013)

I remember a freak wave around 1956. I was sitting on large car inner tube on a gentle sea. Suddenly a large wave came out of nowhere and turned me over and over until I did not know which was up or down and ended right up the beach. I was about 8 years old.

By Pamela Pollitt (29/05/2013)

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