Discover Canterbury: The Groynes

While the decline in water quality prevents swimming at The Groynes today, back in the 1990s (and prior to this) it was an extremely popular swimming hole. 

As a small child my mum's entire extended family would pack up the picnic baskets and deck chairs, and head out to The Groynes for a day of family fun. My grandparents were always getting their kids, grandkids, siblings, and cousins together for family gatherings, but the annual trip to The Groynes was by far the favourite event on the social calendar for the children.

Small children would paddle in the shallows, while the bigger kids would swim out into the lake. They would snorkel around to see what treasures they could find, often popping up from below to scare any unsuspecting children they could catch unawares. Paddle boats and canoes would be hired, each patiently waiting for our turn.

After working up an appetite we would sit on the grassy banks eating whatever deliciousness the adults had brought for us to enjoy, sometimes even sausages cooked on a portable coal BBQ. Once we'd had our fill to eat we would sneak away with some leftovers to feed to the ducks, until the geese and swans descended upon us, sending us running to the adults for shelter from their large hungry beaks. By this time grandad had usually fallen asleep on a lounge chair under the trees with his hat covering his face. Around mid-afternoon it was time to walk around to the kiosk for an ice block which would likely be devoured by the time we returned to our spot under the trees.

As the days heat burnt away, and the children grew tired and restless from a day of excitement, the adults would pack up the debris from our stay and load it into the cars. Sleeping children would be bundled into backseats, while everyone else hugged and bid farewell to one another. Loaded up and buckled in, leaving The Groynes for another year, knowing we would return one day for another fun filled family adventure.

View additional Photo Hunt 2021 community contributions, and many more images on Canterbury Stories.

Do you have any photographs related to The Groynes or family gatherings in Canterbury? If so, we would love for you to contribute to our collection!

Discover Canterbury

Discover Canterbury is a fortnightly blog post promoting beautiful, interesting, weird, and wonderful digital content from our Canterbury Stories and Discovery Wall collections.
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