Remember This Place? Eight Examples Of Old-School Beach Behaviour

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IT emerged this week that Fenit and Banna have retained their Blue Flag status for another year – not that we can enjoy them in this weather!
This will come as no surprise to anyone who spent their childhoods at these beaches playing in the sand dunes, jumping from the pier or getting first degree burns thanks to their parents’ suspicious attitude towards suncream.
So what do we really remember about going to the beach as a child? With the weather so unexam-like at the moment,  Dermot Crean takes a light-hearted look at beach behaviour of the past…

1. Sand Sandwiches – Despite the fact that your mother made them in the noticeably sand-free environment of the kitchen hours before, ham and cheese sambos never tasted more ‘crunchy’ than at the beach.


2. Forgetting Where The Bottle Of Coke Is Buried – “Shure I’ll bury this bottle of coke over here just to keep it cool until the picnic later, I’ll remember where it is.” Aforementioned bottle usually turned up in Canada six months later.

3. Sandcastle Demolition – With the architectural prowess of Sir Christopher Wren, young boys and girls deftly constructed castles with moats, towers, turrets, parapets, stained glass windows and the knights of the round table, only to see barbarians (i.e. kids about two years older than them) rampage through their masterworks. Sorry kids, it’s the hierarchal law of the beach.


4. Insects – What are those tiny things that hop in the sand anyway? Jesus, they’re annoying!

5. Burying Each Other – A rite of passage on the beach where a person – usually an adult – was covered up to his neck in sand by small children, only to emerge King Kong-like from his metaphorical chains, to chase children all around the beach. Actually a lot of fun when you were a child.

6. Sunburn – In the 70s and 80s it was common practice for parents to forgo applying suncream to the skin of an eight-year-old, freckled red-head in 30 degree heat. One assumes they were  trying to achieve the ultimate in beach colour co-ordination. The only refuge from the sun was doing this…

7. Cold Water – Boy: “How’s the water?”

Father: “Oh it’s lovely and warm! G’wan in, what’s wrong with you!”

Father then picks up boy and ‘helps’ him into the water.

Result: Hypothermia and testicular hibernation for four years.

8. Hunger – There’s nowhere like the beach for working up an appetite and the best thing about going home was stopping off in the chipper back in Tralee for a feed and hoping it would be sunny again the next day.

• What do you remember about the beach as a child? Post your comments below…

One Comment

  1. Rolling down the sand dunes in Banna and swallowing mouthfuls of sand!
    Listening to different radio broadcasts raging though the air and not having a clue what was going on!
    Sitting on a deck chair and it folding beneath me!!
    Trying to look like a model whilst really looking like a milk bottle.
    Admiring the life guards and wanting to be them!
    Being mortified having to wear the blown up ring around the waist to save me from drowning.
    Playing with the blown up beach ball and the wind carrying it all over the place.
    Trying to change into my clothes under a towel that was way too small to hide my modesty!
    Being told not to go too far in – Going too far in!!
    Still shaking sand out of my hair a week later!
    And the all important 99 from the ice cream van – Great times.