Beach Scaffolding Makes for Difficult Swimming on the Sussex Coast

Ann Broad, Tadley

In the summer of 1946 when I was 10 years old my family, with a couple of
other families, rented a bungalow at Elmer Sands on the south coast between Bognor and Littlehampton for the first of many happy holidays.

The beach on this stretch of coast is sandy and almost flat and on that first year, the defences were still on the beach. They consisted of scaffolding-like structures which stretched along the coast about halfway between high and low tides, about 10-12ft. high. This is a guess. I remember that if we wanted to go swimming it was necessary to wait for the sea to reach fairly high up the beach or until it had gone down below the defences - but then it was not very deep because the beach was almost flat.
By this time there were gaps in the scaffolding so that it was possible to walk down to the sea at low tide without any difficulty.

Also behind the beach there were enormous concrete blocks which we used to play on, jumping from one to the other - but this was not as exciting as jumping from one upright breakwater to the next.... something our parents didn't know about! I am not sure whether these concrete blocks were then in their original position or whether they had been moved as, to me, they seemed to be rather haphazardly placed. They stayed for longer than the scaffolding.