Remember as a kid (lived in Misk Knowes) the freedom the "shore" gave us. Every day soon the shore in and out of the bomb craters(at least that's what we think they were). In the summer the beach was mobbed with families enjoying the sun. All along the dirt track roads were parked cars having picnics etc. Then there were wooden walkways down to the sand (long gone!!). At that time there was the old engine shed and the mineshaft of previous workings, and the "three sided building", not sure what that was.Then there was the "slip" where we used to fish all night. And the workings of something ICI were doing (basically a load of rocks!!) towards Irvine end which allowed us far more room out to sea for more fishing.
We could slide down the sea wall, make dams with some of the outfall of ICI. (Not sure I would recommend this now, but we were hardier then, I think!!
When the golf course was still there, we played "Best man's fall" in the sand dunes, we fished for sticklebacks and minnows and frogs and newts in the ponds.
I particularly remember one time I was dressed in my brand new royal blue shorts and we went exploring down the shore. Somehow I managed to get them contaminated with a bit of tar. So my mate and I who lived a few doors away decided we could clean this. His house was empty so we tried a few things to get the tar off to no avail. However we came across this suff called DOMESTOS, which we didn't really understand what it was.So we stuffed the shorts in some DOMESTOS, and the obvious happened.......my brand new shorts were now patchy blue white tie dye shorts.I cried all the way home and went in the back door(don't know what difference that was going to make!!)however I did to face the music....luckily Mum and Gran saw the funny side......
We had an annual fight with the Villas (again long gone!!) We were called "Top of the Road" and the "fight" took place well into ICI territory, including up on top of railway wagons in the sidings.
We used to play "Floodlight football" in the ICI car park in dead of night. I remember we were caught by a mob called the "Movements Section" in a mini van who took all our names and addresses. We were 14, 'cos I was due to go on the school cruise, and was cr**ing myself in case I was reported to my parents and I was banned from the cruise. However, they must have been having a right laugh, terrorising us like that.
When you think of all the time we spent outdoors doing "something" be it football, down the shore, even just general playing.
Doesn't seem to be any of that these days.
Were we better off...........who will ever know!!!