Reading some travel blogs recently, I thought I would look back at childhood holidays and day trips. I have mentioned travel in passing in my earlier blog Transport but this time I will be digging a bit deeper – with my bucket and spade!
I flew back from Ireland last night after spending a few days with my daughter and the grandchildren. How easy, quick and affordable travel has become in the last few decades! In my childhood, family holidays were taken by road, coach or train – if you were lucky enough to have one at all. Now that I sort all my trips out on a computer, it’s hard to imagine my mum and dad planning holidays to a different part of Britain for all five of us. We didn’t return to the same place each year so new accommodation had to be found each time. Before our first telephone, this would have all been done by letter!
Picnics were a big part of family outings. There were no fast food outlets and most post-war families couldn’t afford to eat in cafes too often so food was taken with you.
I remember – mainly sandwiches (egg and cress, Spam or tinned ham, Shipham’s paste), peeled hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, scotch eggs. Drinks were tea in a Thermos flask and made up orange squash (I remember a brand called Quosh). There would be some pieces of home made cake after the sandwiches. I didn’t come across crisps until at least 1960 so they weren’t part of 1950s picnics.
Driving to the coast for a holiday or a day trip often involved long traffic jams. Most beaches had little in the way of amenities, cafes and toilets often involved a walk back from the beach into the town.