Wild Family Fun

Tales of living, working and enjoying life in the outdoors


December 19, 2015

StayCation: British Holidays

ParkDean Holidays have been running a lovely competition about the “Best Old Holiday Photo”.

This is aimed at encouraging people to share their childhood photographs of nostaligic holiday memories. The competition was created due to the number of people staying home and having holidays in Britain. It really got me thinking that, as a family, we’ve had the most wonderful holidays exploring different parts of Britain, and I think it’s fantastic that more people are choosing to stay home for their holidays.

More information, and also if you are keen to share your own family photographs, can be found at this link: http://www.parkdeanholidays.co.uk/take-me-back/

This post has given me lots of fun, thinking about past holidays which I had as a child. But, for me, the one that stands out the most was a family holiday to the Isle of White. It was a similar set-up to Butlins, where there were chalets and all of the entertainment was on site, which was great for a big family group.

When I say a family big holiday, this included mums, dads, cousins of all ages, aunties, uncles and, of course, the matriarcal Nan, and we all went together. I think that I was only about seven at the time and, looking back, it’s only certain pivotal events that I can vividly remember.

We travelled by train and all the children piled into one carriage. This left the adults to a small respite of momentary peace and quiet, free from all the excited, screaming children, (high on sweets and anticipation), all eager to get arrive at our destination.

My other fond memory is of having the biggest pool I’ve ever seen, with free access on the site. My Dad would take us down to the pool every day. He was a big kid, himself. He would throw all of us children across the pool, like skimming a stone, then have the whistle blown at him by the lifeguard telling him to behave.

However, it’s been really difficult to find any photographs from that holiday. Of course, we didn’t have digital cameras back then, with a back-up to our computer and everything saved quickly and with ease.

We definately didn’t have that ease back in the day. But one of  my cousins did manage to dig out the most lovely picture of that holiday. Sadly, it’s not showing all of us who were on holiday together, but I can vividly remember the afternoon that we were all instructed to have family photographs taken.

We were all posed within a nearby field, and ordered to “move places”, “look at the camera” and “smile” by the professional photographer on site. The children were so bored, and it was a real mission for the parents to get us smiling and looking happy! It felt like we were all there for ages, but this particular photo is so lovely, and so and important.

Sadly, my Nan has now passed away and so, seeing her here with her grandchildren all smiling and laughing, is just a perfect memory of a great holiday. The whole thing reminded me of what a wonderful woman she was.

She curled my sisters’ and my hair with old rags, one evening. Then she said she was going to the shop for milk. When we started to get worried that she was gone for hours, we eventually tracked her down to the amusement arcade, pumping coins into the machines. Taking no nonsense from one of my cousins, she chased him back to his room, were he spent the rest of the night in shame!

I never thought I’d see my Nan run, ever!

I know that it’s not in focus, or as crisp as a current digital image, but it’s so touching how such lovely memories can come from just one photograph.

nanphoto2

It’s been lovely composing this post and thinking back to our happy family holiday, compared to my own current familys’ holidays.

We, as a new family, have spent the most amazing times holidaying in this country by camping in some beautiful areas and discovering which holiday locations suit our own little family.

A quick confession is that our passports have recently expired. We’re in no rush to renew them, with so much of our own fantastic country to explore that we’ve never seen before.

I hope that this post inspires people to think about having a holiday in this country.

I know that you can all create those extra-special, “once-in-a-life-time” family memories that you’ll cherish forever.

 

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