I cannot remember the exact move to the council house we now lived in but we lived there for about five years until I was about ten years old. house was only 15 minutes walk to the beach and a very well developed and presented promenade.
Given that Port Talbot was a steel working town in a small country known more for (at the time) coal mining and not for sunny weather, it is still a wonder to me how the local council ever got our beach front so “right”. Stretching for about a mile or so, the promenade was a really nice walk, the beach and sea on one side and various gardens, large paddling pool, small boating lake and small summer shops on the other.
Go across the road from all this and there was a lido where many, including me, spent hours swimming in the indoor pool or less hours, but still enjoyable in the sports centre. At one end of where the main public beach ended was a busy dockyard (at least it was when I was young), transporting coal and steel all over the world. At the other end the beach became less tended, with sand dunes and grass and let to a BP chemical Plant.
Each of these though were significantly separate from the public area beach that rarely would you ever think about them unless you took a walk or went fishing on the long stone pier separating the dockside from the public side.
So busy was this beach in my childhood days that it even had it’s own small medical centre and permanently summer manned lifeguard and tannoy system centre. I will forever remember the calls coming over that system indicating a lost child (or a found one) and “would the parents please report to the centre”/”if anyone finds this child please take them to the centre where their parents are waiting” messages that accompanied these events. For me they were golden years when a lost child on the beach was a small matter of concern for parents for only a short space of time as both parent and child were always soon re-united and never did these events ever result in the fears we now get today when these things happen.
Thank you for reading.