1980 France – by Sid Pitman

In July 1980 Dave Williams(Magic), Mick Thompson and myself arrived at Moliet Plage south western france having travelled down in Daves VW Camper, as the advance party for the Isle of Wight Surf Club. We were waiting for  Dave Jacobs, Steve Williams, Keith Williams, Ann and Tony Macpherson and there parties to arrive.

Magic and Sid at La Barre

Whilst there we would get acclimatised to the French way of life. Our days started with an early morning surf, followed by breakfast, mid morning surf, followed by lunch, (which usually consisted of Baguettes, cheese, tomatoes, a bottle or two of red wine all for the equivalent of 1£) then a siesta in the sand dunes behind the beach. A late afternoon surf, evening meal with another bottle or two of wine, then an evening surf before bedtime.

Keith, Mick, Sid, Neal and the back of 'Magic'

This formed the pattern of our days, and as we wound our way through the camp site every morning we would acknowledge a Dutch family camped further nearer the beach with a smile to start with, next day we were greeted with a broad grin, then the day after followed laughter by the end of the fifth morning they greeted our journey with unrestrained laughter. We never did discover what they found so amusing but after the forth day we had run out of milk and Mick had resorted to putting red wine on his cornflakes. Dave never did get the wine rings out of his Formica table top

Back Row: Steve Williams, Dave ‘Magic’ Williams, Jenny Jacobs, Neal Fordham, (Steve’s friend?), Jo Clark, Rob Clark, Keith Williams, Annie Macpherson, Tony Macpherson.
Front Row: Mick Thompson, Paul Jacobs, Mark Jacobs, Dave Jacobs, Kathy Watson (Wheeler), Sid Pitman, Sue Fordham

One Response to “1980 France – by Sid Pitman”

  1. simon cooper says:

    In the mid to late seventies when I started surfing these would be the faces that I remember from those far off days. As an apprentice sprayer working with Neal Fordham I’ll always remember the morning when some of the lads tied him to a welding plant. Now Neal as I remember, wasn’t best pleased about this,and for someone who had a bit of a temper was struggling not only with the rope that we had used to secure him but also the ability to see the funny side of the prank (not helped of course by the fact we were pissing ourselves with laughter with his face turning a funny shade of claret and the veins beginning to protrude from his forehead). We caught sight of the managing director starting his day as he walked through the workshop. Sensing a good telling off, we all acted the hero and dived behind the nearest car only to be amazed as the MD caught sight of Neal glanced across and as calm as you like, shouted good morning Neal with a wry grin and carried on to his office. Needless to say, after a further ten minutes we cut Neal free and beat a hasty retreat.