Living in a seaside town,
where tourists flock, can get you down.
In summer, they come by the hoard,
snapping up cheap bed and board :-
a guest house somewhere near the coast,
with bacon and eggs, and a genial host.
They may bring a tent, or a mate’s caravan.
The sites are all full, so they park where they can,
like the pitch where our team plays, both morning and night,
where they’ll drop fast-food wrappers, and more useless shite.
They swarm into our pubs and shops,
drinking our beer, and eating our chops.
Extending our queues, at counters to pay,
when we’re in a hurry, but they’ve got all day.
They bring all their children, Great Aunties too,
so there’s always someone in need of the loo.
They’ll use our public convenience for free,
and bugger the resident, in need of a pee!
If we’re lucky to queue to the front of the line,
the seat will be guaranteed wet every time,
and when washing your hands just a ‘wee’ bit later,
the sinks will be blocked with wet lumps of paper.
At lunchtime they’ll stop us, in the main street,
“Can you tell me,” they say, “where’s a good place to eat?”
For those born with manners, we must be polite,
and show them a pub, that’s renowned for a bite.
Now you’re late back from lunch, and the boss is put out,
so you’re hoping they choked on their fresh rainbow trout.
They’ll have accents from every perceivable place,
so it’s us, made to feel like an alien race.
But you’ll spot them quite clearly, by the clothes that they wear.
A hankie with knots, shades a Yorkshireman’s hair.
A shoulder-slung camera, says that they’re Japanese,
while the Scot with his kilt, will be showing his knees.
With the Yanks, you just have to hear their drawl,
for they will be speaking the loudest of all!
With Autumn, we all breathe a sigh of relief.
“Bye bye, come again,” we say through clenched teeth.
Then the big clean-up’s on to restore South Shields bay,
‘til the next onslaught of a Bank Holiday!
This may seem a bit ‘bah humbug’, but until you’ve lived in a tourist area, you will not be able to understand how inconvenient an influx of these visitors can be!
I’ve made a few re-writes of this poem, two of which were published . The first was in Arrival Press’s ‘North East Poets’ in 1995. A second version was published by United Press in ’Life’s Wonders’ in February 2009.