A sunny summer scene

By Andy Gilbert

Photo:Valencay arrives on a sunny afternoon.

Valencay arrives on a sunny afternoon.

Kind permission of Alan Richardson

I'm a regular on and one of my fellow posters recently added this super photo to the site which I post here with his kind permission.

The scene is our sandy West Beach, and the year is somewhere between 1968 and 1976. Beyond the people happily playing on the beach, the car ferry Valencay is backing into the harbour. She's displaying the two black balls from the aft mast, signifying that she's going astern. The rear doors to the vehicle deck are already open, a sight that would be gone forever after the Herald of Free Enterprise tragedy.

And of course, those on the beach are happily ignoring the dire warnings of the waves that the incoming and outgoing ships would produce. We loved them!

The Health & Safety people would blow a gasket today, wouldn't they? Open ferry doors, people actually on the beach, in the water. Whatever next? The doors I can agree with, of course, but let's get people back on the beach where they belong!

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 31/03/2009.
Comments about this page

Lovely picture Andy, and I totally agree with all your comments in respect of normal common sense being resumed in place of our p.c. orientated world!! etc.
This picture was taken prior to the major refit which changed these clean asthetic lines for ever when the side windows became somewhat staggered, showing the adjustment to deck line plus an extension to the funnel giving better exhaust gas clearance etc .

By Chris Young
On 31/03/2009

Ah ! ....those waves, what fun we had watching the Londoners chasing out and getting dumped back on the sand....but they knew better, right?

By Rob Patten
On 04/04/2009

I well remember the swell on the beach when the ferries went in or out. All manner of picnic goodies and arm bands heading out to sea followed by their frantic owners! Ah, Happy days!

By Simon Morris
On 11/05/2009

I seem to recall a large painted notice on the east beach warning of the danger to bathers etc., of large waves coming in after the Ferry had entered the harbour.

By Richard Beckett
On 11/05/2009

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