How will Tony cope out in the world?
“Holidaymakers and locals alike are being asked to be on the lookout for 15-year-old Anthony Platt, known as Tony, who went missing from his family home at the weekend. He was last seen hitching a lift towards the village of South Uppingham in the early hours of Sunday morning but has not been seen since. Police say that item of clothing were missing from Anthony’s room and suspect that he may have run away, although foul play has not been ruled out. A school friend, Ruby Smith from Lynn’s North End, said: “if you are reading this Tony, just go back home, we are all missing you.”
If anyone has any information on Anthony’s whereabouts, they are asked to contact Lynn Constabulary on 01553 691211.”
I woke with a stiff neck and aching back, and the wind had blown sand inside all my clothing. Looking out from my vantage point I could see a few people walking their dogs along the beach, but none of the holiday makers that usually inhabit this part of the coast, so I judged it must still be early. I set out towards Hunstanton, mainly to get my legs moving again, and without any real idea of what I would do next. I spent the day alternately walking and resting in the sand dunes. By the end of the day I was exhausted, hungry and in dire need of a bath.
On that second night, it started to rain just after I had fallen asleep in the dunes. I was soon soaked through, thoroughly cold, and as miserable as I had ever been in my life. I was too cold to sleep, the rain didn’t seem to want to stop, and I started to think about the beach huts that were dotted along the beach here. I wondered if maybe it would be possible to get any shelter in them, so I set off, stumbling through the dark, to find the nearest one.
The first hut I found was unpromising, close to the ground and locked shut, but the next one stood up on stilts and seemed to have a loose shutter on a window at the back of the hut. I climbed up and, after a lot of pulling and pushing, managed to get the shutter open enough for me to crawl through, and, at last, I found somewhere out of the rain.
I collapsed on the floor and fell into a fitful sleep, but soon my shivering woke me. It was pitch black inside the hut, but by feeling around I managed to find some towels, and I gratefully dried myself. Wrapping some around me for warmth, I soon fell into a deep sleep.
When I woke next, there was a gray light coming into the hut around the window shutters, and peeking through my entrance way I saw the rain was still falling in a persistent drizzle, and the outside didn’t seem too inviting.
I’d never been in a beach hut before, they were places the tourists owned, but this one appeared clean and well looked after. Checking through the cupboards, I found a packet of biscuits, which I fell upon as if they had been the best food in the world. As I ate, I checked for more food, but all I could find were tea bags and a bag of sugar. That was something, I thought, and I found an empty container, slipped out of the hut and into the rain once again and filled it with water from the communal tap a few steps away. I was soon back in the dry, and luxuriating in hot, sweet tea.
The rain kept on all morning, but then eased up and the clouds parted to a sunny and warm afternoon. I was reasonably sure no one would be at the beach huts when it was raining, but the sun coming out made it an unsafe place to be, so I reluctantly gave up my shelter and set off along the beach again.
By late afternoon I was famished, all my money was spent, and I was exhausted from all the walking. I started to check out the garbage containers along the promenade for anything left by the tourists and was rewarded with someone’s leftover fish dinner. As darkness fell, I made my way to the beach huts again and found one that I could call home for the night. I slept fitfully, not really able to get any sound sleep, but too tired to move.
Next morning I knew I had to change something, so decided to see if I could get a job at one of the food stalls that were scattered all along the beach front. First, I went into one of the public toilets and tried to make myself as presentable as possible. This was hard as I was caked with sand from head to foot, and my hair, in particular, was lank and oily looking. It took some time but eventually I thought that my appearance might be acceptable, and I set off again.