Friday, 30 July 2010

British Seaside Holidays in the 1950s

British Seaside Holidays in the 1950sBy Craig Ellyard

The typical seaside holiday in Britain in the 1950s was quite different from those enjoyed today. Admittedly, there was the same desire to lounge on the beaches, paddle in the sea and enjoy the amusements as there is today, but the the past half century has seen huge changes in tastes and expectations.

A far bigger percentage of Britons enjoyed their holidays in their home country than they do today. In the 1950s cheap international flights had not been introduced and the big holiday resorts of the Mediterranean and beyond - magnets for modern sun-seeking Britons - had not been developed.

For their summer holidays the British tended to visit the resorts in their own area, such as Blackpool for northerners and Brighton for people living in the south. A trip to Torquay in the south west for someone living in Yorkshire would have been seen as exotic.

Staying in a hotel or holiday park, now very popular with holidaymakers in Great Britain, would have been unknown, especially to working class families in the 1950s. Holiday lodgings were far more austere.

Hotels were only affordable for the well off, so most families stayed in bed and breakfasts, which folklore tells us were owned by strict unsmiling landladies. Caravan parks were available, but very unlike the luxury holiday parks of today. Washing and toilet facilities were basic and communal. Caravans were nothing like the modern static caravan complete with mod cons.

They were cramped, tiny, and lacked a WC. And as for the modern log cabin, the most you could expect in the 1950s was a small prefabricated chalet, with only marginally better facilities than the caravans of the period.

The British seaside holiday of the 1950s was very much a communal affair. Families travelled, along with other families, to the seaside on coaches or trains. A good example of the communal aspect of the British holiday of the period were the holiday camps, Butlins and Pontins being the most famous.

The holiday camp, aimed at catering for working class families, had been introduced before the second world war, but were still tremendously popular during the 1950s. While families stayed in in their own on-site chalets, the rest of the holiday was communal. They ate together in large halls, silly competitions such as knock knees contests were held, and the British of the time absolutely loved it.

British seaside holidays of the 1950s may amaze the Britons of today. Sophisticated they may not have been, but they still gave great enjoyment to millions.

Sand-Le-Mere is a long established and one of the most popular yorkshire caravan parks and is located on the east coast. Sand-Le-Mere is family owned and considered to be one the UK's most popular and beautiful holiday and residential caravan parks and is perfect for family holidays.

No comments:

Post a Comment