The Cambois Nudist Beach

For twelve lang months they gave it a try
To this day I divvent kna why
Cos the weather was never warm nor dry
On the Cambois nudist beach

As for the view what can ye say
It’s not exactly Whitley Bay
With a power station not far away
From the Cambois nudist beach

There’s tank traps left there from the wars
On this beach where ye divvent wear bras nor drawers
And the sea’s so cold, nee fear of Jaws
On the Cambois nudist beach

A ye eat yer sarnies of best corn beef
Mistake North Blyth for the Barrier Reef
Consider where ye keep yor handkerchief
On the Cambois nudist beach

If you’re oot of work and on the dole
Through the week you’ll never see a soul
Mind ye divvent sit down on a piece of coal
On the Cambois nudist beach

Noo the beach is busy at weekends
So tek a trip there with your friends
But check who’s around before ye bend
On the Cambois nudist beach

Words & music by Wilf Mitford

Credits :  Wilf Mitford, Vocals & Guitar; Julia Mitford, Flute; Pamela Mitford, Fiddle.  Recorded at Red Nose Studios in May 1991.  Features on Back to Northumbria and Geordie Greats Volume 2 albums.

I posted back in June about the song North Blyth which makes for an interesting segway into this next little ditty from Dad.  Not one to miss out on the chance to turn a humorous headline into a song he picked up on this cracker of a story.  In the 1980s the demolition plans weren’t the only reason for North Blyth to make it to the news.    There’s a little beach nearby called Cambois, and Wansbeck council had a bit of a new idea to attract tourists to the area.  A nudist beach of course!!

Despite objections from some councillors, a 12 month trial was agreed upon but by all accounts wasn’t greatly successful.   News of the trial reached the national papers where in August The Guardian reported things hadn’t gone too swimmingly thanks to the Northern weather.  “There’s not a lot between the beach and Norway” said a local councillor!  I’m sure most locals would agree.  Perhaps this failure to attract people to the area was just another nail in the coffin that led to plans for demolition later that decade?

Most of the back story to this is of course news to me.  I grew up with the song, and clearly didn’t pay much attention to the opening line as for most of my life I thought there continued to be a nudist beach just down the road at Cambois.  It’s only now that I’m doing some background research for the blog that I find it was a short lived trial.  I can’t find much else reported on it on a quick scan of the web or newspaper archives.  I’m not even sure if it lasted the full 12 months.  I can’t imagine there being much interest in the Autumn / Winter months if the Summer didn’t even have any appeal. 

PS as a fully fledged Aussie now I do like that the Barrier Reef got a mention!

News sources;
Graham, C. (1987, Jun 13).  Shiver me timbers. Newcastle Evening Chronicle
Perera, S. (1987, Aug 08). Chill keeps bare bodies away from nudist strip. The Guardian

Image source : https://flic.kr/p/fXfVj

This song and others from the Geordie Greats albums are available on most good music streaming & download services.geordiegreatsstream

Creative Commons License
The Cambois Nudist Beach by Wilf Mitford is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://mitfordmusic.wordpress.com/

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