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The stormy seas around Brighton were a magnet to me when I was a kid in the fifties. The beaches I walked along were the beaches from Black Rock ladder beach to the Banjo groyne. There was a big groyne on the east side of the ladder beach. It had two upright poles that lead to a ladder to the bottom half of the groyne. An immediate soaking was the norm on this groyne when the seas were rough. When it was high tide and the wind was howling, the beach was a fearsome place. I have seen the sea go across the Volk's railway line, to the other side of the road at the bottom of Duke's Mound in a storm. It was good at low tide as well. The sea was shallow and rough but quite safe, as the beach was sandy by the Banjo groyne. We would cling onto an old tractor inner tube and have the time of our lives on the rolling breakers. That was the way we surfed. I would have loved to have had a surfboard then. The day after a storm there was the beachcombing for bits of old wood and junk in general. There were swim flippers and beach shoes by the dozen, but I never came up with a pair, ever. There was loads of other junk to be lugged off home, though most of it ended up in the dustbin. I am glad to see that the rough weather on the beach is still enjoyed as much as I enjoyed it all those years ago. Easy going days, and lots of fun for free.

By Mick Peirson (26/11/2006)

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