Echoes of the past: Dream family seaside holidays

The Park Chapel Choir outing to Loch Lomond
The Park Chapel Choir outing to Loch Lomond

Before the First World War a Sunday School outing here in the Brighouse area usually meant a trip down to Sunny Vale in the Walterclough Valley. Even after the war Sunny Vale was still at the top of most children’s ideas of the must go place.

By the mid to late 1920s times were changing with more and more people going to the seaside.

In the late 1920s Blakeborough’s organised a seaside visit for almost 2,000 of its employees and their families.

Many of the other larger companies followed suit and towns became practically deserted when it was the traditional mill holiday close down. Going to such as Blackpool for a holiday was for many families becoming a reality rather than just a dream.

They arrived at a guest house on what was referred to as ‘Turn-Round Saturday’ - the previous week’s guests left on Saturday morning and you arrived by two in the afternoon. I am sure many readers will have memories of guest houses they visited as children., mum and dad not only carrying over filled brown leather suitcases fit to burst save for the leather belt dad had tied round each of the cases. Someone did have to carry the food and yes that might just have been you - yes in the early days you had to take and provide your own food.

Families were allocated space on the dining room sideboard or piano lid to place their much travelled tins. If you think that is ancient, think about those holiday-makers who not only had to provide their own food but their own bedding as well.

You may recall your dad’s facial expression if not his unkind words when he received the final bill for your week’s stay. At the bottom would be extras, which always included the cruet set on your meal table as a chargeable extra.

In this 1926 photograph are members of the Park Chapel (now J.D.Wetherspoon’s, Bethel Street) choir who are on a boat trip on Loch Lomond.

A big step up from Sunny Vale but then the times were changing and expectations in life were greater - just as they are today.