Letters: What were sticks in Edwardian postcards?

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I am writing in response to the request for information on the use of the sticks by children on Hunstanton beach (Memory Lane, April 3).

My family were in business in Hunstanton since the early 1920s and up until the outbreak of the Second World War we must have sold thousands of these sticks.

They were, in fact, jumping poles which children would use to jump from rock to rock without landing on the sand or the sea.

No child would dream of holidaying in Hunstanton without partaking of this pastime.

It was, of course, quite a hazardous occupation with the rocks almost always covered in damp seaweed.

However, this element of danger made it a much more exciting occupation.

After the Second World War I thought it would be a good idea to re-introduce this pastime.

However I had great difficulty in obtaining a supply of suitable poles when John Lambert, a friend from Snettisham who owned several businesses in the area, kindly offered to supply me, at a very reasonable cost, with a quantity of wooden hoe handles which were slightly bent but otherwise highly suitable for the purpose.

These proved quite popular and I thus managed to prolong the pastime for several more years.

Today, of course, parents would hold their hands up in horror at the thought of such dangerous activities.

WW Coles,

by email

Jumping about was great fun

My mother, Margaret Bullen, has asked me to send you an email in connection with the Edwardian children playing under the cliffs at Hunstanton

As a child my mother grew up in Gaywood.

She is now 91 and she used to spend time on the beach in the late ’20s early ’30s

The poles are “Jumping Poles” which were bought from kiosks on Hunstanton promenade. They were similar to rake poles.

The purpose was to jump between the rocks.

Mother recalls invariably falling off the rocks as they were, and still are, covered in seaweed. She recalls it being great fun.

Andrew Bullen,

Downham

(Thanks also to Mary Kettlewell, aged 92, of Bury St Edmunds, and Martin Sayer for taking the trouble to get in touch and confirming our ‘mystery’ pictures were of jumping sticks.)