In the “good old days” when a man could just go down to the beach with some timber and tools and build himself a shelter, the Fitties Bungalows were started. This was probably at the turn of the last century.
Some just had an old railway coach or omnibus propped up on bricks. This was somewhere you could pop down for the weekend to get away from it all…..sigh!
In 1953 the East Coast Flood swept away most of the chalets and caravans. When the waters subsided undaunted people set about building their hideaways once more. Built to their own designs and using any materials that came to hand, the Humberston Fitties chalet bungalows grew.
With transport, trains and buses, many came from South Yorkshire and built their Shangri-la’s.
Our bungalow (124) was actually a Rolls-Royce construction built from a ready manufactured kit. It even boasted an electric generator that switched on automatically (it’s still there at the bottom of the garden) but we have mains electricity now. If you look around you will see quite a few that are broadly similar. Some rescued old WW2 prefab buildings or ex war department buildings to adapt to their requirements.
When I was a child we went there every year on the little saddles bolted to Mum and Dad’s bikes. There was no electric or piped water, not even a flush loo!
Water was fetched from a pump and the lighting was by oil lamps and bottled gas.
The grass was unmowed and insects, frogs and wild flowers thrived. I loved the grass hoppers, eels and toads that were in abundance. Dad used to catch the eels and cook them! I still keep part of our bungalow garden wild so there are still these beautiful sights to enjoy, which is why there is the long grass at the end of the garden!
The real beauty of this area is that it was constructed and developed without the restrictive consents from Building Control or the rigid planning laws we endure now. It is delightful to walk around in the evening to view these original buildings and stop and chat to the owners.
In 1995 the area was granted a “conservation area” status so it should be around for future generations. I say should, but there is a threat that with this control the park will lose its character, some say this is happening already with overly tight control…..we’ll have to see. So come and enjoy it and relax in this friendly, quaint peaceful corner of Lincolnshire.
Oh by the way…..a fittie is a salt marsh.