NEWHAVEN — A  UNIQUE FISHING VILLAGE ON THE COAST OF THE FORTH, PROUD OF ITS TRADITIONS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

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The Swim


by Harry Summers



It was just an other day.  I was going down to the lighthouse to fish for the mackerel at the lighthouse.  All my pals were down there.  We had been fishing for a while then it was time for a swim in the harbour.  


I had come out the water and a pal of mine shouted to me, “Going for a swim?  Needing little encouragement, it was back in the water and I suggested that we swim to the beacon so off we went.  My pal started to drop behind.  By the time I was opposite the Starbank Park, I had to wait for him.  He wanted to go back.  I said we were half-way there.  I started to dive under and was shouting “Sharks!” to keep his mind of the swim.  Because were opposite the park which was busy, a man noticed me and went to phone the police. We reached the beacon safely.  Our pals were already on it as they had a  boat and so we all come back together.  


I could  see the harbour was packed with people.  The police were there.  We jumped over the side to get the dirt of us — the Forth was not a clean river back then.  When I surfaced, I was being beckoned by the policeman.  ”Up now!”  You did not argue with your seniors, especially policemen.  When we got out of the water and had dressed, we were taken up to the police box that still stands outside the old Fish Market.    


We were given a right bollockin’!  The police had been told we were drowning.  The incident had involved two police cars, one going to Granton, one to Newhaven.  Our stern lecture gave us a real fright.  That was the last time I swum out to the beacon.