Pollok beach, home to Pipe, was named after the Pollok Hotel that used to stand where the present Summerseas is today – before it became the legendary (and infamous) Summerstrand Hotel. Buildings here dated back to the 1890’s, when the sand dunes were reclaimed and allocated for use of a hotel. The dude who built it came from Scotland, and was called Pollok – so guess what, he named the hotel after himself! And the name of the beach followed....
Pollok was always a popular surfing and bathing beach. The Summerstrand Lifesaving Club has always been a familiar landmark. Favourite chill out spot was right in front of the club, where the ou's used to park their brolley's and hang for the day. Bit of a chick magnet thanks to all the hot lifeguards. Back when lifeguards used to be hot.
There used to be plenty of brush fences scattered around the beach - designed to help trap sand. So the whole sand loss thing isn't a new problem at all. Actually, Pollok has suffered from some serious sand loss issues at various times. At one stage the whole beach was reduced to stone - looked a bit like those dodgy rocky beaches in England.
Summerstrand Hotel was a favourite hang-out back then. Ou's used to sit on the wall and chirp everyone on the beach and in the water. A favourite possie for after-surf beers that could end up as an all-nighter and the guys going home with as many glasses as they could sneak under their jackets, the odd table and chair even a few attempts were made on the ciggie machine.
Summies ended up getting pretty ratty, so it had to get demolished. The building of Summerseas in it's place wasn't without controversy, as no new developments were meant to take place beachside of Marine Drive. But up it went anyway. More issues ensued, when there was a moerse argument about the construction of the walkway in front of it, which finally went up in 2008.
Pipe's got a fair bit more developed over the years. But some things never change. It's still the most popular surf spot in town, and it's still the coolest beach to hang out on. Long live Pipe.
Thanks to Peter Schwartz for all the images.