Sights, smells and sounds of the city

Beach season

By Joan Cumber

As you walk along the promenade on a sunny day the sound of people enjoying a day out at the seaside rings in your ears. Volks Railway rattles over its tracks and voices can be heard pointing out attractions. Children running in and out of the sea scream with glee as waves wash over their legs.

A walk in the area under the pier brings a strong smell of fish and chips together with vinegar doused on cockles along with the pungent aroma of suntan oil. Ladies in ‘Kiss me Quick’ hats laugh raucously at something one of their number has said. The sweet smell of candy floss being spun round in the machine and carefully wound on a paper spiral. It is sold to the next person in the queue, waiting to enjoy this only to be had by the sea sticky treat.

Photo:Smell of fish and chips

Smell of fish and chips

Photo by Tony Mould

Walking on the Palace Pier, looking through the wooden slats and hearing the sea buffet the piers’ pillars. The sound of the amusement arcade machines. Bumper cars scratching the ceiling with their long poles. Screams of laughter from the Ghost Train. Giggles from the Hall of Mirrors.

At the end of the day as dusk falls the quiet of the deserted beaches and the sound as the waves hit the shingle; then hiss back into the waiting swell. On the lower promenade the bars and restaurant doors are open. There are sounds of glasses clinking and beers being poured. The sweet aroma of good English Ale accompanied by the murmur of friendly conversation.  

Photo:Winter is coming

Winter is coming

Photo by Tony Mould


The deserted beach and the sound of shoes crunching on the pebbles. The noise of the waves pounding heavily from the incoming high waves. The cold fresh smell of the ocean and seaweed which is being thrown onto the shore. The wind gathering momentum on its unhindered journey. A small whirling tornado attacks some loose newspaper and carries it scraping the ground until it is finally tossed aside. The wind continues to howl sounding like a banshee, as it enters the shuttered stalls where it whistles fiercely through cracks.

On the hotel side of the promenade the wind makes a whistling sound as it tries to push you back, the downdraught from a side street almost bowls you over and your heels clatter noisily on the pavement. The wonderful smell of bacon beckons you into a warm café where a juke box plays and you can watch others through the patch you have rubbed in the steam on the windows.  

This page was added on 19/02/2010.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.