Spittal beach is one of the most attractive and most suitable for having fun on that I've ever seen in Britain, and accordingly it developed a reputation as a seaside resort. A very small seaside resort, a kind of bonsai version of Scarborough. The oldest inhabitants remember the annual excitement of the Kelso Trip, when hordes of children from the Scottish town of that name would descend on Spittal for their one day at the seaside, travelling by train to Tweedmouth station (long since closed down) and then walking the mile or so to the beach. Above is a photo of the 1930 shelter on the promenade, such a cute example of the period when seaside holidays and art deco flourished together that it makes me smile every time I see it.
The picture on the right was taken on Boxing Day last year during the annual frolic of plunging into the sea for an icy dip to wash away that Christmas sluggishness. 2011 wasn't so bad, but in 2010 the participants had to run through the snow covering the sand even to get to the water. Nobody seems to have dropped dead from the shock to the system, but I noticed that the inshore lifeboat and a couple of its crew, who have some paramedic training, were standing by just in case.
If the weather had been better I could have brought you some photos of the Spittal Gala, which was held last week.The Kelso Trip used to be arranged to coincide with this. Every town in the Borders has some version of an annual gala or festival and the traditions go back a long time. Unfortunately the rain has been so unrelenting this year that the photographer from the local paper just had time to snap the contestants in the children's fancy dress contest before everyone was obliged to run for shelter from a torrential downpour and all of the other events were comprehensively washed out.