The Music of the Masts

One of my earliest holiday memories is the music of the masts as the rigging of the yachts in Chichester Harbour , West Wittering clattered  in rhythm with the wind .

The beach was tantalisingly close . The lagoons ( if the tide was out) and the Green Chalet ( bucket, spades and windmills ) awaited us but it always seemed to take an inexplicably long time for the impedimenta to be collected and for us to set out .

It was generally an extended family holiday ( West Wittering had been the destination of choice forever) and my Grandfather in particular defied any concept of time keeping being entirely a law unto himself .

It was the same walk always . I can remember , as a small child , no more than 3 , slipping out of the back gate and setting out by myself towards the field with the horses through which we walked .

I always had the sense or caution to pause at the style and then run back to the house in the hope that the others would be ready . Finally , finally they were and we would set out

Everybody seemed to wear more in those days . Linen jackets and aertex caps come to mind . Head scarves against the wind featured , at least by the time we reached the beach .

As you can imagine we always stayed in the same place . Hulets , overlooking a meadow complete with Norman Church , at least until its owners , always referred to as the Schnads (short for Schnadhorst I think) rather irritatingly decided to retire there – to their own house – the temerity of it . The greatest joy for a 3 year old was that it came complete with a classic Rocking Horse . It was a delight – something that one dreamed of having but actually only experienced at Hulets . My one at home really didn’t measure up .



In future years we had to decamp to Green Duer . A massive disruption .

It was next door .

The happiest memories from an anchored secure childhood surrounded by mild eccentricity which included bringing a cricket team down every year to play the locals but , of course that all seemed perfectly normal to me as a child.

And the music of the masts brings all those memories flooding back .


brucemcd View All →

Sharing ideas and experiences drawn from 30 years as a Public Service Leader . Firm believer in the value of Public Service and the importance of vision , strategy , communication and engagement in making a positive difference to people’s lives .Hopefully helping make sense of what often seems a complicated world .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: