WHISPERING SMITH: Row, row, row your boat gently on the lake

Chris Adam Smith
Chris Adam Smith

Way, way back in the day when our lovely beach was girded with barbed wire, jumbled with tank traps and sewn with mines, Mewsbrook’s lake was the only local place to swim and my big sister and her friends swam there on sunny weekend afternoons while I sat on the bank and ate their soggy sandwiches and drank their warm Tizer.

I remember quite vividly that she cut her foot rather badly on some underwater broken glass and, for a while, was forbidden the luxury of the bathing.

Later on after the war I recall my father telling me there were big fish in there and I spent hours sitting on the grass with my rod and baited hook not realising it was his way of keeping me out of mischief for an afternoon as there were only minnows and sticklebacks lurking in the brackish weedy waters.

When the creaking wooden rowing boats returned it was fun to row around in ever decreasing circles pretending that larger things did actually lurk beneath the keel.

Later in life the art deco shelters provided sanctuary for older boys and girls to get up to the mischief that older boys and girls got up to.

It is a lovely memory-filled park, well cared for by both council and a group of local dedicated volunteers.

So pleased to see that David Chace, proprietor of the excellent all-year-round café has, over the Easter holiday, launched a new flotilla of lightweight rowing boats complete with life jackets.

I will be there with my now grown-up children regaling them, and no doubt boring them, with outrageous stories of dreadful, youthful daring deeds – some of which are actually true.

Of course I will await the finer weather as even the smallest of a ripple on the water these days tends to turn me a little greener than the very lake on which I will row.


Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.littlehamptongazette.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LittlehamptonGazette

3) Follow us on Twitter @LhamptonGazette

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Littlehampton Gazette - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.