Saturday 6 June 2020

'The Bangor Boat's Away' by Sinead Slattery

The Bangor boat’s away we always sing this in the big black taxi that brings us to the train the Bangor train carrying buckets and spades rugs and towels hurry up everyone the guard is waving his flag and its up the scary steps onto the train and don’t look down whoosh and we’re off clickety clack buckets and spades clickety clack the windows are so dirty you can’t see anything so we’re in Bangor before we know it  a long walk from the station to the sea oh stop complaining but I’m too hot well stay in the shade it’s going to be hotter at the sea and if you two don’t stop fighting we’ll go straight back all woes forgotten when we see the shimmer and sparkle and hear the first seagull cry slow down slow down this bag is too heavy it’s cutting my hands have a rest put the bags on the wall pick a good spot on the beach sandals off down the gritty steps on to the sand careful don’t stand on that you can pick up shells later look over by those rocks there’s no-one there stretch out the rugs and all is silent looking at the gold and silver of Bangor beach can I have my togs I want to go in don’t go too far just paddle oh the lovely heat pouring over on to shoulders backs legs so you could never be cold again put your tee-shirt on you’re getting a bit red but I want to go brown and don’t come crying to me if you’re burnt tonight can we have lunch but we’re only here ten minutes build a castle why don’t you both build castles have a competition then we’ll have lunch when I’ve read the paper the heat has made the smell stronger I think we’ll move pick everything up look that red spade is ours don’t drag the rug you never know what is on the sand put it there go in for a swim don’t go out past your depth we’ll have the sandwiches when you come back yes there’s red lemonade was the water nice don’t stand on the rug you’re dripping all over the sandwiches sit on that towel no that’s all we brought you said you liked tomatoes you’ll have to wait until we get home alright get three wafers and a cone for me here’s half a crown mind the change make a castle together dig a moat fill it with water but it always sinks don’t pick too many shells they’ll be too heavy for you to carry home and I’m not going to carry them everyone lie down on the rug close your eyes for five minutes listen to the waves you’re at the seaside there’s no toilet here hold on we’re going to the station now have we everything is that our bucket throw half those shells back let’s go


  1. Authors name Sinead Slattery missing from title

  2. Smiling all the way through this - I could feel the heat, the grit of the sand, each wonderful detail ('when I’ve read the paper the heat has made the smell stronger I think') building to create this wonderful, whole piece. Thank you Sean Slattery, Great stuff!

  3. Loved this. From the song at the opening to all those injunctions and instructions interrupting the beautiful imagery — so evocative.


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