AT THE BEACH

Australia is blessed with some wonderful beaches from the white sands of the beaches around Jervis Bay (eg Hyams Beach) to the golden sands of Bondi & Manly and the multi coloured sands at Rainbow Beach in Queensland. Yes we have a multitude of beaches not only on the coast but also along many rivers.

Now I originally came from the UK where the beaches were not so attractive and enticing in my view. Yes, there were some beaches that had sand, but many consisted of shingle or pebbles and when the tide went out some had what could only be described as mud flats.

Now-a-days, in Australia, we consider the beach as a place to swim, surf or build sand castles. You may see some having a game of beach cricket or soccer, throwing a Frisbee or just laying in the sun.

This was not always the case however. Just like the UK many beaches in Australia once had amusement piers and attractions. Coogee beach in Sydney had a large amusement pier that jutted out into the sea. Tamarama beach had a large amusement area that took up most of the parkland that runs down to the beach. The amusement area was called “Wonderland” and consisted of many rides similar to today’s Luna Park at North Sydney. St. Kilda beach in Melbourne still has a pier and also has the Melbourne version of Luna Park very close by. One of the reasons for the demise of amusement piers in Australian waters would have to be from storm damage and heavy seas.

Still many families continue to have fun at the beach with the kids building sand castles, collecting shells or burying dad.

Over time beach fashion has also changed from the old woollen swimming costumes of the 1940s & 50s to the nylon or lycra costumes of today. Or from the “neck to knee” fashions of the early 20th century to the the two piece bikini or the “budgie smugglers” of now-a-day. Remember the swimsuit fashions of yesteryear when some women and girls would wear a one piece swimsuit with a small skirt attached at the bottom or the old woollen swimsuits that would fill with sand when you would get “dumped” by a wave in the surf and the uncomfortable feeling as you tried to shake the sand out of the swimsuit. I can also recall a time in the mid 1960s and early 70s when topless swimsuits for females gained a degree of popularity (especially with the fellows) but they were not universally popular and soon disappeared from view. Besides they were banned on most beaches. During the 1990s board shorts became popular swimwear for the guys and personally I prefer board shorts to the “budgie smuggler” that many now wear. Then of course you do not need to consider beach fashion if you were to go to one of the nudist beaches that can be found along the coast. In such cases fashion is immaterial.

Anyhow that is all for me for this issue. I am off to the beach in my board shorts so until next time “Happy Memories”