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Thursday, April 09, 2015

LAWS FAMILY REGISTER 9 Apr Number 480 Wanders II




Welcome to the Laws Family Register. 

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A Child of the Twenties

A suburban childhood of the Twenties 

seen from the Ninteen Nineties


by John Robert Laws 1921-2008

Part 16

Holidays 1,


Holidays at that time meant the seaside, and the seaside meant the East Coast, Sunshine, East winds sand and icy grey sea.

June was the preferred month, until school became important enough to interfere. My mother packed vast quantities of clothing in a big cabin trunk, which must have gone on ahead; it certainly didn’t come in the car with us. It took a good three hours to cover seventy odd miles to the coast. 

Bypass was an almost unknown word and certainly wasn’t applicable to even the Essex county town of Colchester the first time of two that we went that way. One was built in the next couple of years but now some sixty odd years later has been virtually absorbed into the town to be replace by the (now hardly adequate) A12.

We went to Clacton on the first holiday I remember and the sand and the seafront were the attractions. The next year it was Little Holland (Now Holland on Sea) where there was more sand and no seafront and I spent the whole holiday on the beach. After that it was always Walton on the Naze. 

Here we would have some rooms or latterly a house and we would stay for a month, though my father had only a fortnight of holiday and was only with us at weekends the rest of the time. We used to have a beach hut near the pier and would swim in the icy North Sea in blazing sunshine. It must have been here that I learnt to swim, taught by my mother, tuition later reinforced and widened by lessons at school. 

There was a stone-built breakwater in front of the beach huts and with the run of the tide along the coast there was deep water on one side and sand at the water’s edge on the other.  Facing the deep side was a platform diving board and a springboard where one could display a considerable lack of skill combined with great enjoyment.

The deep water was only there at high tide of course and so the tides controlled the way the day was spent. In the youngest bucket and spade days low water was in demand but once I could swim strongly it had to be high tide. Not far from the diving boards, rafts were anchored to give a point to swim to and even sit on, The young cannot sit still however and so it was climb out and dive back in again and swim back to base to start again.

It was never crowded at Walton. Holidaymakers were squeezed off most of the beaches at high tide but there were soon big stretches of smooth virgin sand again and on one of these a beach artist would claim a large pitch well overlooked from the promenade.    He would draw his pictures on the hard damp sand and set his hat to catch the pennies thrown from the prom. Perhaps he doubled as a pavement artist in the winter. 

The un-crowded beaches were ideal for flying kites and even permitted the continuous swinging of a tethered tennis ball hung on long elastic between a pair of poles. On one holiday I remember a less space consuming toy was rampant, the yoyo, and these spinning discs on strings were in every hand rising and falling, spinning and circling to show off the skill of the owner.

South of the pier was the sunniest part of the cliffs and here and there, were tiers of beach huts rising behind the prom from which one could watch the world go by or change for a swim. The beach hut was not only for swimming from but also for sitting in the sun sheltered from the east coast wind, very rarely for sheltering from rain, and for making tea and eating snacks and ice cream. 

I was much better at eating than the sitting but would sometimes stay and watch the sailing barges gliding serenely along the coast, their big red sails filled with the east wind. It was not so funny for them when it really blew hard. Distress flares would go up with a noisy boom and the lifeboat went out from its anchorage by the end of the pier. Even in the summer of holiday time this was not all that unusual.

                                          Thames Sailing Barge - Canthusus

                                              Clacton Queen 1890-1937

As well as sailing barges there were paddle steamers which called at the end of the pier. These came from Tower Bridge by way of Southend on Sea, and then sailed away into the far distance north to unknown Yarmouth perhaps. These were best watched from the end of the pier itself where the bump could be felt as ropes were thrown and contact made with the big paddle wheels churning in reverse. On the pier too there was entertainment. The man who rode a bike off the high diving board was always worth watching, but the children’s concerts were pretty corny, even for kids.

To be continued tomorrow

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Family Events from our database for today April 10


1746 - Birth: William LAWS-3916, Billerica, Middlesex Co. MA USA
1775 - Baptism: Robert LAWS (Farmer) -45756, Mealrigg CUL UK
1785 - Birth: John LAWES-100758, Down, Hurstbourne HAM UK
1804 - Birth: John LAWS-41976,
1807 - Birth: Margaret Atkinson LAWS-3633, Great Yarmouth NFK
                                                        Great Yarmouth Norfolk

1829 - Christen: Jane Ann LAWS-7447, Portsea HAM UK
                            Nelson'sd Flagship HMS 'Victory' moored in Portsea Naval Dockyard

1836 - Marriage: Charles BOND-7680 and Elizabeth LAWS-7681, Newington SRY UK
1850 - Death: John LAWS-48538, Costessey NFK UK
                                                             Costessey Norfolk

1854 - Birth: Charles Nathaniel LAWS-37452, Hamilton Co FL United States
1860 - Marriage: Francis Augustine LAWS-115446 and Harriet Augusta SPAULDING-115447,
1866 - Military: Thomas Edward LAWS-MOORE (Navy Captain) -38745, To retired List as Vice                Admiral
1868 - Birth: Dorethy Ann  LAWS(Charwoman) -34013, Castle Eden Colliery DUR UK
1877 - Birth: James Sydney LAWS (Bricklayer) -54958, Camberwell, QLD AUSTRALIA
1880 - Death: Jerimiah LAWS-48560, Versailles, Woodford IL USA
1883 - Birth: Arthur Matthew LAWS-48118, Norwich NFK UK
                                                          Norwich Cathederal Norfolk

1884 - Marriage: Joseph Frank LAWES (Coachman) -568 and Jane JOLLIFFE (Cook) -746,                        Fordingbridge HAM UK
1889 - Birth: Fred LAWS (PFC US Army) -37954,
1890 - Marriage: Reuben HORSELL-45393 and Emily LAWES-33134, C7 Lot 6 Brooke Twp.,                  Lambton County, Ontario CANADA
1904 - Marriage: Lonnie LAWS-56542 and Salina PEGRAM-56543, Wake NC United States
1907 - Birth: Stanley Newman LAWS-58379, North Witchford CAM UK
1909 - Death: William LAWS-7790, Stockton Upon Tees DUR UK
1913 - Marriage: Edwin George LAWS (Milk Carrier) -57773 and Jenny LONG-57775, Edgware                MDX UK
1915 - Discharged: George William LAWS (ARMY Private 7488) -54440, Gillingham KEN UK
1917 - Death: Frederick William LAWS (Printers Compositor) -5906,
1920 - Miscellaneous: Thomas LAWS (Assistant Ships Cook) -45868,
1922 - Miscellaneous: Alfred LAWES (Steward & Cook on Ship)-45869,
1926 - Birth: Frederick Harold E LAWS-121558, Peterborough CAM UK
1929 - Birth: Billy Reid LAWS-123875, Turnersburg NC United States
1929 - Burial: George Herbert LAWES-47793, Norwich NFK UK
1929 - Death: Steven Price LAWS-42305,
1929 - Birth: Billy Reid LAWS-38165, Iredell County NC USA
1930 - Birth: Lillian Davison LAWS-47473, North Shields NBL UK
                                                              North Shields NBL UK

1936 - Military: Charles Frederick LAWS (Master Mariner 13605) -8012, Late Commander RMSF Comando died at Eastbourne SSX UK but resided at Court Lodge, Great Chart, Ashford KEN
1943 - Death: Walter Trowbridge LAWS-167444, IL United States
1943 - Birth: William George LAWS-115423, Mombassa Kenya, East Africa
1948 - Death: Mary Ledoska LAWS-3897, Ottawa, Franklin Co, KS USA
1950 - Departure: Sheila Beatrix LAWS-124709, Middleton St George DUR
1950 - Birth: Myrtle Maxine LAWS-123907, Mooresville NC USA
1953 - Birth: Adrian Richard LAWES (Company Director) -46424, Llanyrfon GLA UK
1953 - Miscellaneous: Frank Sydney Bruce LAWES (Export Clerk & Absent Voter) 122493,
1953 - Cremation: Laura Lucy LAWES-30920, Falkner Green Memorial Park, VIC AUSTRALIA
1957 - Birth: Peter John LAWS-119146,
1969 - Birth: Martin LAWS-42216, Harrogate NRY UK
1970 - Cremation: James Charles LAWES (Coach Driver) -53568, Kent & Sussex Crematorium
1973 - Baptism: Martin LAWS-42216, Aldershot HAM UK
1979 - Death: Alice LAWS-119202, Scarborough NRY UK
1979 - Burial: Stanley Vernon LAWS (S2 US Navy) -38085, Mountain Home National Cemetery,                Johnson City TN USA
1979 - Death: Bertie James LAWES (Australian Army) -32387, Penrith NSW AUSTRALIA
1980 - Marriage: Richard Albert LAWS-53891 and Josefina Empueto RAFOLS-53896, Dumlog                  Talisay Cebu, Phillipines
1994 - Death: Lottie LAWS-50123, Los Angeles CA United States
1997 - Probate: Norman Ian LAWS-125123, Newcastle upon Tyne NBL UK
2001 - Cremation: Margaret Joan Burton LAWS-4583, Boston LIN UK
                                          River Witham & Boston Stump, Boston LIN UK

2003 - Death: Jes Willard LAWS (U.S. Army WWll veteran) -31217, Lenoir NC United States


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With grateful thanks to Simon Knott for permission to reproduce his photographs on this site see :-http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/