The waves on Oldton sands in 1956 … The tide of prosperity went
out years ago. The happy, wealthy Victorian and Edwardian families deserted the
substantial beachfront hotels – at first for the War, then the Depression, then
for War once more, then rationing, then foreign travel.
Today, the happy, pinched, red-shouldered families spend pennies on chips and the Pixie Tea Rooms, beer at half price if it rains, pool tables on the pier and a raucous disco at night.
Scattered on the pebbles at the top of the beach are a few blackened nets and a handful of crab and lobster pots. The tractor that used to drag the fishing boats from the foam up the sand has been abandoned, beached like flotsam, awaiting a Christo to wrap it in canvas and charge aesthetes to be photographed alongside, perhaps with their faces pushed through the hole rent by a vandal, drunk on half-price beer because it rained.