Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Holidays of yesteryear

Nostalgia reigns. Preparing to go away on holiday, I got to thinking about where people used to go for holidays in the UK and how they used to travel. Nudged into this frame of mind by the words of a song from way back which was in my head, I started musing on how people took holidays well before I was born.
Charabanc outing, early 1920s
Day trips, rather than a full week or longer, were popular. People would travel in an open topped early version of a coach, the charabanc, for a trip to the seaside. Somewhere, in this photo, are some members of my family (long before I was born I hasten to add!).

Once at the seaside, a paddle or dip in the sea was all part of the fun. Interesting how, in the photo here,  the hat was kept on! I think this is probably a photo of my grandmother, taken sometime in the late 1920s/early 1930s.

Here is another beach scene, with a beach hut. The bather would change then the hut would be wheeled to the water's edge so  the bather could walk down the steps and straight into the sea. The bather is my dad as a young man, on the beach in Belgium in the 1930s.

If there was a family outing to the seaside, very often there would be photographers on the promenade waiting to take photos for the family album. Many people didn't have cameras, so this was a useful service and a popular thing to have as a memento of the day trip.
From my family archives - I think they'd arrived here in that charabanc
And what about the song that got me thinking of what holidays were like in times past? It was called Day Trip to Bangor. It was recorded in the late 1970s but surely is a lot older and more about one of these charabanc trips. The words are

Didn't we have a lovely time the day we went to Bangor. 
A beautiful day, we had lunch on the way, and all for under a pound you know That on the way back I cuddled with Jack and we opend a bottle of cider 
Singing a few of our favourite songs as the wheels went round.

You can drive yourself crazy by listening to it here!

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