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Studland Memories

Also in 'Visiting Studland'
Where is Studland Bay?
Check the weather for Studland
Driving to Studland and parking
Bus timetables for Studland
The Sandbanks Chain Ferry
Disabled access to Studland
Hotels, guest houses and B&BS
Camp sites in the Isle of Purbeck
The gay beach at Studland
Non-nudist Beaches at Studland
Litter, recycling, fires & bbq's
Taking your dog to Studland
Deer ticks, adders & weever fish
Emergency Telephone Numbers
Things To Do in Dorset
Studland Memories

Least folk forget
this section is dedicated to
articles, letters and photos of
Studland in yesteryear.

If you have any photos,
s or memories to share
 please email


Halcyon Days

1950's memories from a black skinned, blue eyed mermaid

By Marianne Grant, first published in TBE 8.

My first memories of Studland go back to the summer of 1950 - I was three years old at the time. Dad would pack his bag with bread and cheese, a bottle of water, his pipe and baccy, and waving farewells to Mum off we'd go. He rode a very large black bicycle with a metal child seat on the back, into which I was unceremoniously dumped (no safety harness, no hard hat!) I remember he always took off my sandals before we started because I hated wearing them, and they would inevitably get 'lost' along the way'

We would leave the bike - not locked - at the Haven and I always had the choice of Big Ferry or Little Ferry I always chose the latter - the small Davis boat which cost the princely sum of 3d (the Big Ferry was 6d) The pier on the Studland side was a very rickety wooden affair to the right of the toll road, just short of the little wooden cafe, which resembled a glorified beach hut.

We then walked along the beach (me naked by this time) to a point just before Midway Path: the hollow is still there We now call it 'The Deep Hollow', wherein resided The Major (the original, not to be confused with the more recent, sadly now deceased, Major Mike). He had built himself a weird and wonderful construction, from all kinds of metal work, railway sleepers, in fact anything that came to hand I believe he lived there for most of the year - to a small child it seemed an idyllic, magical way to live

As soon as we arrived Dad stripped off, and as he and the Major brewed their tea on their ever burning fire, lit up their pipes and started jawing, I made my escape to the wonderful imaginary world that only a small child can have the beach and dunes were all mine, and the world was my oyster I just did whatever I wanted, with no fear in those days - in fact I don't really remember seeing many people at all, just a few of Dad's cronies. They used to call me a little black skinned, blue eyed mermaid'

Eventually Dad and the Major would emerge from the encampment to go swimming; Dad was a very good swimmer, and he taught me at a very early age, without the dreaded armbands or water wings!

The long hot summer afternoons would eventually draw to a close, with all the vittles consumed (and, I suspect, all the baccy smoked!), we made our farewells and trailed - very reluctantly for my part - back to the ferry I'm told that I inevitably fell asleep on the bike during the journey home.

I will always remember those halcyon days of my childhood and will be eternally grateful to my dear father for introducing me to naturism and to 'My' Studland beach, which to this day remains, to me, unsurpassed.