Wednesday 17 July 2013

Sea side holiday at Eastbourne in the 1950s

Just enjoying the hot weather that is long overdue. So in the spirit that I should be on holiday sunbathing on a beach somewhere, instead of in front of this computer! I have found some photographs in the Illustrated from May 27th 1950. This was how a seaside holiday was really like back in 1950. So just to keep it jewellery related we have a new collection of 1950s jewellery for you also.

Arriving at your boarding house for the week, you would be greeted by the boarding's house owner.

Mrs Amy Chandler has run her boarding house Fairdene in Eastbourne for 15 years. She offered a warm reception and a home for your holidays. At 65, she was born and then married in Eastbourne. For the photograph she wore a black suit and white silk blouse.

No teas made or electric kettle in your room. Each morning a cup of tea was delivered to your door. Matching twin sets of a woollen top and cardigan was a fashion that lasted many years. Often hand knitted and usually dressed up with a string of pearls necklace. Is this someone who has been hired to bring around the tea? - no its Rene one of the guests just helping out.

Somethings don't change. Breakfast freshly cooked served in the breakfast room. Mmmm I can smell the bacon, eggs, grilled tomatoes (in season) and sausage with buttered toast. No baked beans as standard though yet. Foreign muck my grandad used to say who wouldn't touch beans! How times have changed.

Following breakfast a brisk stroll along the cliffs and plenty of fresh sea air to work up an appetite for lunch. Every woman would wear a head scarf. She would probably buy a souvenir one from one of the many small souvenir shops along the beach front. Shops crammed with shell ornaments and other nick knacks.

Mrs Chandler working out her rations. Even in the mid 1950s rationing for goods was still in place. By the end of the week, she would often find that sugar was becoming low. Her fat rations she mixed with margarine to make it go further. I believe that she made some fabulous home cooked apple tart and Yorkshire puddings. Mr Chandler helped by working an allotment and supplementing their rations with seasonal vegetables and fruit.

Its no good living by the sea if you do not take full advantage of it yourself. I think that is Eastbourne promenade in the background and it has changed a bit in the last 60 years or so. Mrs Chandler walking at low tide along the beach then its back to work at her boarding house.

Now down to cooking the evening meal. Most boarded with breakfast and evening meal included. Peeling the spuds was a marathon peeling feat for 16 people. No electric potato peelers used in those days. Nor dish washers! Hair nets were a woman's staple hair accessory. Used at night to hold your rollers in place and during the day when working, then any other time to keep your hair in place. Straighteners - yes. Use the hot iron heated on the stove. Just be careful not to iron your ears and it did tend to sent the ends dry and a little burnt (if you had the iron too hot).

After your evening meal it was down to the evening's entertainment. A game of cards or a board game. No TV as many places did not have. In 1953 more houses owned a TV for watching the coronation but still not everyone.
Life was simple then, but would you go back to those days? 

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About Me

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Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.