A snapshot of our holidays many moons ago
There was a time when holidays were only for the 'well to do' and the most we could hope for was a day trip to Bognor, usually on the train, accompanied by a few spam sandwiches, granny's fruit cake and a flask of tea.
The idea of going away on a family holiday really took off in the 1950s. Many people were still living amongst the devastation left by the war and for most money was tight.
Nothing was ever taken for granted. A holiday, however simple, was a luxury saved hard for all year. It was one whole week’s escape from daily life and we packed as much fun into it as we could.
Which of these were your family’s holiday of choice?
Bed & Breakfast
Hotels were out of reach, so we booked into a B&B or guesthouse. Arriving by coach or train, we'd struggle with all our bags to be greeted by the landlady and her long list of rules. Woe betide anyone who broke them!
It didn’t get much more exciting than going to a spanking new holiday camp. Wake up music got us up for breakfast then it was full throttle fun, games, shows and knobbly knee competitions all day. Was there always ‘a baby crying in chalet 21'?
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As more people got cars, all we needed was a bit of canvas and a few camping chairs for a cheap and cheerful holiday in the great outdoors. It was a welcome change from regimented holiday camps and strict time keeping of the B&B's.
A touring caravan with a table that cunningly transformed into a bed was a tiny home from home. You could attach it to the back of the family Mini and park virtually anywhere. Remember the 'pop' when you switched on the gas lights?
By the late 60s, the glory of the great British holiday was fading. Thanks to Freddie Laker and more money in our pockets, a holiday 'on the continent' was now a possibility. Travel brochures reassured us we'd get loads of sun and English food. Anyone still have the donkey they brought back as a souvenir?
Things have changed so much since we were young. Today holidays abroad often cost less than a holiday at home. But one thing has stayed the same. Come rain or shine, we Brits always find a way to have fun.
If this look back at the glory days of the homegrown holiday has brought back memories of soggy swimsuits and sandcastles - we'd love to hear them. Perhaps you have some holiday snaps you'd like to share with us?
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