TOMLIN VIEW, COULDERTON
Here's where it all started- the bungalow my family used to visit in the 1960s.
On the back row of the little group in this 1965 picture are my mother, her mother, and her mother's brother, Uncle Joe- formally Joseph Robinson. Joe and his wife May lived in a good solid house at Crow Hill on the Whitehaven Loop Road, but for relaxation they also had this little dream cottage "Tomlin View" on the beach at Coulderton.
For my sister and I (at the front of the picture) visits to Tomlin View in the 1960s were An Adventure. First there was the drive along narrow country lanes, ending with the extraordinary track down the brow to the beach, complete with hairpin bends. Finally, under the railway arch and along the shingle, past a variety of curious constructions, some as pretty as Tomlin View, some just old railway carriages. Once arrived, however, my sister and I had to walk back along the beach, because we had an important job to do- fetching water from the spring near the railway arch, so everybody could have a cup of tea. When the formalities were settled, it was time for play- paddling, skimming pebbles across the water, and generally doing stuff that was inconceivable in the suburbs of Manchester (on one occasion I spent a happy half hour just watching a snake as it explored the little garden).
By the time we were teenagers, Joe and May were both dead, and the family connection with Tomlin View was ended- but the effect of that was to seal the memories of our visits as part of what our childhood had been. Forty years on, the beach is starting to look a bit too much like a housing estate for my taste, but much of Tomlin View can still be seen among the repairs; and as my project on the history of the beach bungalows gets under way, I already get the impression that a lot of other people have extraordinary memories of these idiosyncratic structures.
David Bradbury, Parton, Aug 2006
Colour picture above taken c1966
|P.S. Speaking of idiosyncracies- here's a roofer at work on Tomlin View, spotted from the train in September 2006.|
The Dalek was, of course, just mucking around, but the roofing and general renovation is perfectly genuine, thanks to the efforts of the current owners, the Barratt family. Their intention is to recapture the traditional atmosphere of the old wooden structure (although for the benefit of the sea views, they installed larger windows) and of course their major enemy is rotten timber.
David Barratt (who reports that the restoration probably won't include putting a name-board back up over the door because they are quite a tall family!) has sent me the following picture of the bungalow, which was given to the Barratts by the previous owners, the Turner family (who now have another attractive traditional-type bungalow near the north end of the Coulderton row).
David points out that although the above photo came from relatively recent owners of the bungalow, it shows the left end of the veranda open. The window shown there on the 1960s photo above remained in place until the Barratts took over, so this photo must be earlier- possibly late 1940s!
David has also given me some information about the old railway carriages and bus bodies which were so often used as beach huts, and he hopes that one of the former owners will be able to provide some pictures- so watch out for another new page on this site in the not-too-distant future.