Friday, 21 January 2011

The old Beach Cafe on the Parrog
























The Beach Cafe was very much a part of my childhood holidays on the Parrog. Painted in bold stripes like a wasp, it was essentially a large wooden shed built on to the front of the old limekeeper's cottage at the edge of the car park. The inside, from what I remember, was simple with a plain wooden floor which could be swept clean of trodden-in sand. It was a place of childhood treats, full of warmth and steam on a rainy day. In the sixties it was run by George and Rose but I'm not sure if they were the original owners. It had been closed for several years by the time I took this photo and, sadly, I don't have any photos of it in it's heyday.





The sign at the top of the building was made from hammered on crown caps, perhaps from some of the bottles of pop which were so much a part of my childhood memories of the place. In those days you paid a deposit on the bottle when you bought a drink and the money was returned when you brought the bottle back. My friends and I could earn a bit of pocket money by picking up the empty bottles people had left lying around on the beach and returning them to the cafe to claim the deposit. We had to be careful that we'd washed all the sand out first, of course.

The cafe was demolished in the nineteen nineties when the limekiln and the adjoining cottage were restored. It was sad to see it go. Even its derelict state it had a certain charm.

6 comments:

Nick White said...

I used to by Bazooka Joes from George in the late 70s early 80s. Black Jacks and Fruit Salad chews were also popular.

Vivien said...

Black Jacks and Fruit Salad, now you're talking, four for an old penny when I was small and Black Jacks would leave your tongue black!

Anonymous said...

The Beach Cafe was owned and run by Rose and George. Rose was my Grandmother. She owned it until it was closed. She planted the rose bushes that are still there even though sadly, like her the cafe is gone.

Vivien said...

Thanks for adding that. So it was George and Rose, not Millie who owned the Cafe. I'm sorry I got that wrong. I loved that place and I still enjoy the roses when they bloom. It's nice to think that they are still there on The Parrog as a memory of your grandmother. How long did they own the cafe? It must have been quite a few years. It was sad when it fell into ruin.

Anonymous said...

My Mum Stephanie, was telling me that my Grandmother bought it from the Collins approx 1950 and ran it until the end. Like you I have so many of my childhood memories at the Cafe and Parrog beach. We loved Crabbing off the Quay wall when the tide came in, going for walks along the Cwm and then heading back to see what treats Gran had ready for us. I will check to see if I can get hold of a better photo - it's sad to see one of it in disrepair after it was closed. Gran and George used to repaint and clean it up every Spring in readiness of opening for the summer. Many of the campers would take refuge there on rainy days for hot drinks and a warm welcome.

Vivien said...

It's wonderful to have those details. I though you Grandmother had run it for a long time. It would be lovely to see a photo of it in it's heyday. I haven't been able to find a good one.

Crabbing off the Quay wall is still very popular, particularly in August when there's quite a crowd if children down there. https://flic.kr/p/avEVez