In the 1960s, families packed their camping gear and spent the school holidays at Black Head. My dad spared no expense in purchasing a two-pole canvas tent with grass as our floor. It was primitive with fold up canvas stools, an unstable card table, and wood and hessian camp stretchers. Mum sewed dividing curtains so that we had at least one private change area.
We washed the plastic cups and plates in a dish on the table, all different colours for hygiene and easy identification. Facilities were scarce, you carried fresh water in a bucket and there was one cold shower and two toilets per gender in a small wooden hut. There were no washing facilities so we lived in our swimmers.
Dad fished all day, mum had her Readers’ Digest close at hand, and we made friends with all the other kids, looking for shells, digging pipis for bait, exploring the sea caves and swimming in the pool. Luckily the butcher and baker came every few days in their van sounding their horns loudly so we could buy bread, and a sausage sandwich has never lost its appeal.
The tent needed to be laced up at dark before the mosquitoes swarmed in and we would play cards on the rickety table by candle light until it was time for bed. Then it was time to snuggle up and listen to the waves crashing onto the sand, sometimes softly sometimes ferociously, but the rhythm eventually did its trick, and tomorrow was another day!
Author: Marilyn Boyd