I was a little stumped by this week's Sepia Saturday brief and couldn't find anything decent in the family albums. Luckily I remembered I'd seen some images online some time ago of the remarkable sandy beach that was created on the banks of the Thames about a mile and a bit away from where I live.
Tower Beach, on the foreshore just below the Tower of London, was opened in July 1934 and was made by heaping fifteen hundred barge-loads of sand on to the banks of the river Thames between St.Katherine's Steps and the Tower.
It was the idea of The Tower Hill Improvement Trust and was intended for those who could not afford a seaside holiday - something that was considered a luxury for many of those who lived near to this part of the river.
Between 1934 and 1939 more than half a million people used the 'beach' for building sandcastles or relaxing in a deckchair and could paddle or swim in the 'sea'. It was even possible to rent a rowing boat. Although the beach was shut during World War II, it was reopened in the 1950's but closed permanently in 1971 when worries about both river pollution and safety became a concern.
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