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Memorable holidays

Published by Lamont D in the blog Lamont D's blog. Views: 875

I started a thread about my best, worst, experience and the first that you remember when you were a kid!
My first memory of a nice holiday that I can remember was going to a holiday camp in Morecambe in 1966.
Of course being a total football nut, 1966 was synonymous with the huge win in 1966 in the World Cup.

Anyway, I had already been to watch the infamous match between North Korea and Portugal at Goodison Park, a couple of weeks beforehand.

To put a holiday in context in that year, my father had actually found a job which payed relatively good, my mother worked full time, so the treats that were denied our family for years, such as a holiday were truly remarkable. We only usually visited relations who were glad to see the back of us and vice versa when they visited us.

The holiday was booked by quite a few families in our street, in fact, if memory serves me well, there were a couple of families from nearby streets as well. The organisation was done by our next door neighbours, a double decker bus was booked, a version were you alighted from the back of the bus and the sort that needed a clippie (bus conductor you heathen!) A big yellow one from our council bus service as was then, and not a charabanc!

We had to get up early because, of the fathers who convinced the women that if we get there early enough, we could lunch on arrival at the camps picnic ground.
They didn't believe that, not for a second!
It was the morning of the World cup final!

We set off, and through the Mersey tunnel, through the city of Liverpool, through Lancashire, through Preston, there was no M6! And onwards to the destination of Morecambe Bay holiday camp in Heysham,.
It is now known for its ferry terminal, back then, just a small town near Morecambe.

We arrived around one o'clock and the parents disappeared to book in, whilst I sneaked off to do some nosing around. I had never been to a place such as this, it was a true adventure playground for families.
These old style holiday camps were a rescue from the humdrum of city life, a getaway from poverty and deprivation and for the likes of me, something so special that I will remember it all my days.

We did have lunch, we called it dinner, but I won't confuse those that believes I'm wrong. And the women unpacked while the men found the pub! The kids explored the amusement arcade, I didn't, my money was going on treats! The men left the pub about half past two and found the television rooms.
Yes, two television rooms, one for BBC and the other for ITV. These televisions were a cupboard with a black and white screen no bigger than 10 inch screens, and a speaker installed below, in those days, you had to be comfortably off to afford a television!
We didn't have one till '68. So all the men were stuck in one of the rooms, seated in straight back wooden chairs, with us sat on the floor in front of the television, as close as you could get.
There was plenty of excitement before, more during the match, and utter chaos when Martin Peters scored the last goal to win in extra time. There was dancing, whooping and singing, mostly without alcohol!
There was a celebration dance in the ballroom that night and I discovered strawberry milk shakes, for my supper! (Never heard of them before then!)
That was not the only thing I discovered that I could get, never had known before, especially food!
Food and sweets that most people and myself now that are taken for granted, like pineapple and other exotic fruit and vegetables!

You would think that the England win would be the highlight of the holiday, actually watching live football on a television.
Well, no!
The holiday camp had a match against the local cricket team which was just a hundred yards from the main building, which was an old manor house. We stayed in wooden huts, with two beds, I shared with my brother, a wash basin and a toilet, very basic! But you only slept there! What else did you need?
Anyway, I played in the game and I scored 35 not out, I was only eleven, playing against men!
One of my proudest moments with my dad really impressed!
It was a nothing game which I excelled in!

Grammar school ruined my game and my confidence in the game, I never got my chance because of my poor background in a snobs school.
I played local cricket but nothing of noteworthy, I had talent but the toffs couldn't let me show them how to play could they?

I digress!
We took part in competition all week, the saints v the sinners, I was a saint! (I know!)
Can't remember who won but it was so competitive and the health and safety guys would be taken aback at some of the antics. Especially on the bowling green!
I believe it never rained all week, if it did I never noticed!
I had a great time.
I took part in an entertainment show, and I was bloody awful, well, that's what my mum said! I couldn't argue with her!
And I discovered strawberry milk shakes and hot chocolate and Bourneville fruit and nut!
The big yellow bus arrived on the Saturday morning and we trundled down back home!
Before we left, all the parents were laughing and joking. By the time we emerged from the Mersey tunnel, the grins turned to scowls.
My new life in Grammar school, was about to change my outlook on life, and how others treated me, coming from a poor background.

I still have a photograph of me, wearing a blue jumper, which was knitted by my mum, and you can distinctly see the difference in one of the sleeves, because my mum ran out of wool and couldn't afford another of the same shade, so she used as close as she had!
It reminds me of a really good holiday but underlines the reality of poverty that I endured for most of my childhood.

Happy days!
  • SockFiddler
  • CherryAA
  • Lamont D
  • Lamont D
  • CherryAA
  • Lamont D
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