IT all started with an advert in The Observer.
Mary Beker, 67, originally from Warrington, moved to the town on a permanent basis in 1975 when Franco was still in charge.
Here she tells the Olive Press about her early years there.
“I saw an advert offering a free weekend in Jimena where they would show you properties around the area.
I hadn’t really thought about moving here, I just fancied the free weekend.
But I just fell in love with the place. It was a bit of an adventure as it was a long way from everywhere.
At the time there was no road to the coast and no bridge, so you had to really want to come here, it wasn’t convenient.
There are a lot of English here now but the foreigners that were here before were quite adventurous
We were very involved with the Spanish, and they kind of adopted us. I was always ‘their foreigner’ and because I had a car I would get invitations to weddings and Matanzas because I could take people.
They used to call people who had been as far as Ronda munditos because they had seen the wide world.
Most of them had never been to the coast, had never been to the beach even though they could see the sea from Gaucin.
Of course, back then there were only three cars in the village. Because there wasn’t much space to park I used to leave the keys in the car and someone would move it if they needed to.
There was no concern about anybody stealing it and there still isnt.
Women didn’t go in bars in those days and I had to change the way I dressed. All the other women still wore black. Now some of the teenagers seem half naked.
It really has changed tremendously, but is still, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful villages in europe.”
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