Sepia Saturday 289 : Let's Not Forget The Donkey
It's a seasonal Sepia Saturday theme this week: a sandy beach, a salty sea and the sun beaming down. When you look back you always tend to look through sun glasses because the sun always shone when you were young, the sands were always crystalline yellow, and the sea was always warm and sparkling. And there was always a donkey. Let's not forget the donkey.
My main picture must have been taken in 1949 because the young chap on the donkey looks about a year old and I was born in 1948 (yes, it is me!). Let me introduce the other two dramatis personae: that is my brother Roger on the left, steadying the beast, and my mother, Gladys, steadying the rider. I am pleased I was able to feature Gladys in my post this week as it would have been her birthday on Sunday; she was born on the 27th July 1911. Looking at the photograph, there is a good solid Yorkshire goodness in her face and a clear pleasure at being at the seaside. She loved the seaside, and even when she was in her eighties, her face would light up at the sight of the sea and she would walk along the sands and paddle in the sea water.
It is the donkey that is the star of the show. It appears his name was Hero, an apt description for an animal who dedicated his life to carrying little children up and down Bridlington sands. All things are comparative, however: a few generations earlier and Hero's forebears were probably carting tubs full of coal deep underground. There are many worse ways to spend you days than feeling the hot sands beneath your hooves and listening to the happy chuckles of generations of toddlers.
So thank you Hero, for carrying me all those years ago, and thank you for taking me back to my childhood today. Thank you for reminding me that Yorkshire skies can be blue and the sun can occasionally shine down in this country I still call home.