I don't know how well known (or true) this is, but Eastbourne beach is a sandy beach and the larger stones are added as a sea defence. I would love it if Eastbourne were a sandy beach but being protected from flooding is probably preferable.
2 years ago, we saw a huge machine firing stones off the sea bed onto the beach - one heck of a sight which made me wonder what would happen if it just fired stones into town. Which it didn't do. I digress. As usual.
For the past few weeks, some important beach maintenance has been happening to transport the stones that have been moved across the beach (anybody remember studying longshore drift at school?) back to where they were - some 24,000 cubic metres in fact! That's a lot of stones to move and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, provided us with the entertainment for an afternoon out!!
I doubt I'm the only parent whose toddler is obsessed with diggers, every time we drive past one in the car, the-toddler-gorilla would excitedly shout "DIGGER, DIGGER, DIGGER"
So WE WENT TO SEE DIGGERS!
At one end of the beach, the Excavator would load up the Dumper Trucks, much to the-toddler-gorilla's entertainment. We could have stayed and watched this for hours - the-toddler-gorilla was reluctant to move on but we told him there'd be more at the other end of the beach.
The Dumper Trucks would then drive down to the other end of the beach and an especially nice touch was for the drivers to wave back to the-toddler-gorilla as he sheepishly watched, and waved as they drove past. This was probably the highlight of our time out - the drivers, possibly having children of their own, appreciating the small things that make young boys happy.
At the other end of the beach, was a bulldozer which would spread the dumped stones to form a lovely new sea front.
I think we saw most of the vehicles you'd get if you buy a children's "construction set" - I think it was only the Mixer and Crane that were missing.
We were there for so long, that the sun had begin to set by the time we were leaving and the moon had come out.
Unfortunately for me, the-toddler-gorilla was worn out by all the excitement and fell asleep in my arms on the walk home (a gruelling, uphill journey) in the dark. I ended up leaving him, the-mrs-gorilla and the-baby-gorilla resting on a bench whilst I jogged home to get the car.
So if you've got a young child and short of ideas of what to do with them, find a construction site and
let them run wild carefully let them watch the machinery from a safe distance.