I was eight years of age and my sister was four when our twin brothers were born in 1927 at Forge House. My Dad (George Sherlock) looked round for something to take us in to the seaside and bought a large motor bike and sidecar from Mr Alex Greenlees of Oad Street. Mum sat in the sidecar with the twins on her lap, my sister sat in a little seat in the front and I was on the back of the motorbike. My Dad had a mania for collecting cockles and on nice sunny days in the summer we used to go to either Leysdown or Seasalter with a suitcase packed with food and a shovel and a hessian sack for the cockles which were tied on the back of the sidecar.

We set off about 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning; we always got a jug of tea and a bottle of Tizer where we went. Dad started to dig for cockles and as soon as the tide went out and when the sack was full it was tied underneath the sidecar. When we got home the cockles were put in a bath of cold water over night to get the sand out. Next day Mum had to put off her washing to cook these things and when I came home from school I had to help shell them, we usually ended up with two or three basins full. There were too many for our tea so Dad used to take them round to the neighbours.

Well one Sunday things didn’t go to quite right, when we got home all we got was a sack with a hole in it and no cockles! The rope had come loose and left a trail of cockles all the way home. The air was blue but Mum was able to do her washing next day and nobody go any cockles for tea! 

Marjorie Barrett (Nee Sherlock)

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