Memories of visting Tralee Bay for 28 years.
We first visited Tralee Bay in 1982 for a diving holiday with our son and daughter who also were divers,so this year will be our 28th year. Remembering when the A66 was a two lane road and the M6 was the A6 a two lane duel carriageway with plenty of hold ups due to roadworks when it could take anything up to 10 hours travelling from Sheffield, when we pull in to the car park we are always greeted with a smile and a warm welcome its just like home to us, catching up with all news on what has been happening and all the improvements that have been made throughout the winter months.
We have seen a lot of changes through the 28 years visiting Tralee all for the better, we started visiting the site before the Shellcocks took it over when the caravans had no running water or hot water and gas mantels for lighting no electric lights no showers or toilets in the caravans, the toilets and showers were housed in two shower/toilet blocks. These were situated at each end in the center of the park and you had to queue to go to the toilet or to have a wash or shower, to use the shower had it was a 10 pence slot to get your hot water, it was a bit like HI de HI, the boat park and the area were Owen sails are was a large tarmaced area where German coachs pulling trailers where the passengers slept and ate out of it, it looked like a mobile pigeon coyte.
When the Shellcocks took over the shower/toilet blocks went and were replaced with caravans complete with showers, toilets, running hot and cold water with electric lighting all fully serviced this was like home from home, the reception was two caravans joined together at the entrance behind the red telephone boxes, the pitch and putt course was where tents and tourers were pitched.
To launch a boat you had to go down the lane on to the beach and hope you did not get your car stuck in the sand when launching or recovering the boats, if you happened to get stuck Richard would come down with the JCB and pull you out. The new slipway was a very welcome construction and no more getting the car stuck on the beach.
Night time entertainment was bar-b-ques a game of cricket or football on the beach, or going to the local pub Loch Nell, Falls of Lora or The Lynn of Lorne. The Lynn of Lorne was a pub and hotel in Benderloch next to the post office. It had a pool table and at weekends had 'live music'. There was sometimes a local group or a soloist of tradiional scottish music. All this added to the atmosphere and added to the enjoyment of the holiday. It has since been made into An Old Peoples Home and we often say we will put our names down for a place there.
Throughout the 28 years all the changes that have been made are all for the betterment of the park, we can remember when David, Ian, Richard and their father Brian were building wooden chalets all on their own and designing the insides with Mum Pauline through the summer and winter while running the park also, and replacing older caravans with new ones their mum Pauline would look after her grand children while all the family was working hard on the park, They are now providing luxury chalets in the woods, and redesigning the park and driving all the excavators and dump trucks themselves. They have also designed lakes and filled them with fish for the angler on holiday.
Their father Brian was a very experienced sailor if he wasn't working when we visited the park he would ask me to go out sailing with him I think he enjoyed a bit of different company to get away from the hard work of the park for a day when he would dicuss with me what he was going to do to improve on the park, ( or was it just an excuse to get away from the lads for a day?).
Everybody who works on the site are very helpfull and cannot do enough for you to make your stay a memorable one.
If you have never visited the west coast of Scotland, give it a try you will not be disappointed,
Tralee Bay is perfectly situated to visit The Highlands and Islands,
Graham and Carolyn Spurr