Nostalgia: Sometimes life’s a beach

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WHEN the sun shines, the crowds flock to Portobello – and now residents and traders in the seaside town are working to make sure that it remains a top attraction.

A host of new ideas have been floated to help promote the resort to visitors, with the return of old-fashioned donkey rides right at the top of the list.

Crowds of holidaymakers on Portobello beach in May 1952

Crowds of holidaymakers on Portobello beach in May 1952

They were a common attraction on Portobello beach right up until the 1970s, but have not been seen since. Their return could herald scenes like in 1965 when children piled into a cart to be pulled by a pony along the sand.

Amanda Caygill, owner of the Espy Bar in the town’s Bath Street, is one of the driving forces behind the proposal. She told the Evening News on Monday: “I’ve always talked about trying to get donkey rides back on the beach.

We would need to be careful about animal care and health and safety, but if people put their heads together I’m sure we could sort something out.”

City council chiefs were this week urged to invest in other activities such as a suggested open-air cinema or silent discos on the beach.

Hibs players take to the sand for a training session in 1966

Hibs players take to the sand for a training session in 1966

Celebrity names will always prove crowd pleasers, as shown when comedian Spike Milligan turned up in May 1975 brandishing a pair of pants to promote his Litterspike Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

And long before their state-of-the-art East Mains training ground was up and running, it was beach football for Hibs as they tackled the sands in February 1966.