I wish the ground hadn’t opened up…


In 1965, the family went out on a day trip to one of our coastal favouritesJaywick. 

We arrived on the beach and were pleased to meet a school friend of mine and his family who were holidaying down there. Jimmy Brown was my co-conspirator.  He had been on the beach for a couple of hours already when we arrived, and had dug a sizeable hole.  (Why boys dig holes on beaches is a mystery and neither of us had any Irish blood that we knew of.) 

I, armed with bucket and spade, jumped in a hole and joined in.  The usual intention of reaching Australia was soon scrapped when water started to appear at the bottom of the hole.  Totally undeterred, we decided to mine laterally and dug a wonderful tunnel underneath an empty deckchair.  At this point, our union convener (our parents) said the work must stop as it was lunchtime.  We dutifully followed instructions and left the hole for sustenance. 

We were sitting happily, munching away, when suddenly an anguished scream was heard.  We all turned in the direction of the scream and were amazed to see a woman, sitting in the deck chair in a two foot hole.  (You see this in cartoons, but I never believed it could really happen.)  Both mums rushed across to placate the lady and apologise profusely. 

Needless to say, this was my last attempt at civil engineering!


Ralph ‘mining expert’ Edmunds