Back to St Mildred's Bay again and this time a view of the pedaloes on the big slipway, taken, I suspect in the early sixties.
I worked a summer season on these after I left school; big heavy wooden lumps that they were, where the floats often filled with water by the end of the day.
We used to need a Land Rover to haul them, one by one to the low tide mark and every other week, we would work late, waiting for the sea to float a line of a dozen boats back into the slipway for recovery in the evening as the Sun set.
It was surprising how cold the wind would be during the summer, when the tide was out and of course, there would be more business when it was in, as people generally didn't want a long distance walk to find a pedaloe.
I recall one miserable summer's day when, as usual, come rain or shine, from the early morning, we had the boats anchored in a line off the beach at high tide, while the two of us sheltered, playing chess, in a small hut next to Pav's cafe. After some time had passed I looked out of the door to check on the pedaloes and to my surprise I couldn't see them. They had pulled the anchors in the swell and were now drifting around the point towards Westbrook.
In the days before Health & Safety at work and worried we would be fired, we dived into the sea and swam out after the boats and with a great deal of difficulty and against the current, managed to pedal and push all twelve back into St Mildred's, without the boss knowing that we had almost lost them.
There was another time, I remember, when two teenagers abandoned one at sea without us knowing and it started drifting upside down, again at high tide, towards Birchington. In those days, we had an Air Sea Rescue helicopter at Manston and the first I knew of the problem was spotting a missing boat through binoculars. This time, I managed to catch-up with it by running along to Westbay and going into the sea from there. Next thing I know, is a large yellow helicopter over my head and the winchman asking if I need rescuing as passers by on the shore had assumed that I had fallen out of the boat.
Happy days. You could swim freely between the bays without the danger of being run over by a jetski.