Thursday, 26 May 2016

On holiday with Mrs Fisher

We never went to a holiday camp which was nothing to do with the idea it was just we never did.

That said I often felt just a little envious of my friend Jimmy O’Donnell whose parents always went to Butlins through the 1950s into the 60s.

He would come back suntanned and full of stories of the entertainments, the food and the sheer fun of the place.

So with that in mind I fell on this picture from Ken Fisher’s collection of his grandmother who is sitting on the chair and staring back at us.

I would love to know where we are and the clue might be in the lettering on the building in the distance.

It is only a partial name or word but could be Capstan.

And that might help in trawling the holiday camps near Blackpool.

So far I have drawn a blank but there is a modern holiday company operating with that name.

Mrs Fisher regularly went to Blackpool so perhaps this is a holiday camp somewhere on the edge of the town.

There is no mistaking the  accommodation in their neat rows facing each other with the neatly trimmed lawn in front.

The first holiday camps had started up before the Great War but the real growth was during the 1930s and in the years after the Second World War.

The big players were Warner, Butlins and Pontins who played to their strengths offering an all in holiday which was affordable with no hidden charges.

And looking at the lady with the bike, its clear that the modern upmarket version often centred in woodlands has nothing new in providing push bikes to explore the resort.

But with the development of cheap foreign packages in the sun the traditional British holiday became less attractive and many were closed.

Now I don’t know when this picture was taken but I think it will be the 1950s just at the time that Jimmy was off on his Butlins break.

So while I never got to a holiday camp, Ken’s picture is the nearest I will come to a holiday camp.

And just after I posted the story, Ken got back in touch telling me that, "it was taken at Butlins Skegness in 1957, the lady on the bike was my Mam Edna and the lady looking through the bike was my sister Dot, also on the holiday was my Dad , Trevor who was Dot's Husband and their son Paul who was my nephew.

It was the best holiday I had, with great memories, but sadly I'm the only one left."

As for the building at the end I have no idea.  And that just rounds off the story perfectly, and just reminded me I should have asked Ken first!

Location; Butlins Skegness

Picture; Mrs Fisher and friends, date unknown courtesy of Ken Fisher

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