A trip down memory lane to West Bay
We are always grateful when anyone gets in touch with us to share their memories. Andrew contacted us recently after he discovered on our website the story of the Heinkel bomber crashing in the Bay during the Second World War.
He told us that during holidays in the 50’s he has fond memories of catching prawn, crabs and lobsters off the rocks at low tide. He also told us he used to sit on one of the two engines of the Heinkel which were located in this area. It was nothing much more than aluminium cylinder sleeves, which were full up with gravel and small pebbles.
He also remembered a 20ft vertical white wooden pole with triangular climbing steps set in a depression in the grassy ground when one walked from West Bay to Eype? It was a few hundred yards inland from the cliff and I was always told it was used by WWII watchers. Does anyone else remember this landmark?
Andrew also mentioned his memories of Tom Summers who ran an one-hour, two-shilling, mackerel fishing trips from the steps alongside the sluice gates. “He was a rough but cheerful chap, burnt brown by constant exposure to the elements, and was always speckled with white silvery scales, which (as a child) I thought he had placed there, but they were just fish scales. I’ve known the name of his boat for years but now I have forgotten and would dearly like to be reminded of it. Tom Summers lived in one of those single storey huts (surrounded by stinking nets and lobster pots) which I walked past with painful bare feet, carrying my prawning nets from the campsite to the rocks at low tide.”
And what of the strange white-and-blue cabin cruiser, that sat moored for years just beyond the steps of the sluices. All us youngsters called it Bluebird and looked up to it as something special, although my modern standards it was nothing more than our limited aspirations of the day.
If anyone can fill in any of the missing gaps please contact us!