Dave & Beat Crabtree, (…….Sedge?), Shirley & Sylvia Davey, Reg Turner, (………….?), (………….?).
The annual charabanc outing from the village began, as always, with a drink in the Crooked Billet whilst the coach waited, with engine running, for the revellers to climb on board and head off to their seaside of choice – usually Southend. The village children would gather to wave them off with shouts of, “Give us your mouldies; throw out your coppers”. The merrymakers would duly oblige as farthings, halfpennies and even whole pennies were tossed from the windows. Once the crates of beer were loaded they were off , with the shouts and laughter of the children following in their wake.
What a Day
A glorious day spent at the seaside; time to unwind and forget about their daily woes. The smell of the sea air, gulls screeching overhead, the noise of the fairground, screams of the people on the big dipper; candyfloss, toffee apples, have a go on hook-a-duck or, if your aim was good, shooting the tin ducks as they quacked along at the back of the stall: ping! ping! as each one fell.
Sand and Sandwiches
Onto the beach for a paddle in the surf; men with their trousers rolled up to their knees and – yes – knotted handkerchiefs on their heads to keep the rays of the sun at bay. Back to their deckchairs for corned beef sandwiches and a bottle of beer.
Show Me the Way to go Home
The evening would be spent back at the Kursaal or along the seafront, amongst the crowds, lights, noise and the smell of the sea, together with winkles and cockles from the seafood stalls and the glorious smell of fish and chips, with plenty of vinegar.
Eventually, the ‘Creekers’ would return to their charabanc – if they could remember where to find it – and slump in their seats, tired and very happy, if not a little tipsy, to make the journey, the 50-odd miles, back to the village. Some would be snoring gently – or loudly, in some cases – whilst others sang along to “Roll out the Barrel” “My old Man” “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner” and many more, old East End songs.
Soon they would be back home, tucked up in their beds, with dreams of their wonderful outing to the seaside and thoughts of the new day ahead.