Nostalgic look at holiday scenes

Making for a fascinating read today, a 1930 copy of The Scarborough Magazine, aimed at tourists, from the Scarborough Museums Trust collections. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121735a
Making for a fascinating read today, a 1930 copy of The Scarborough Magazine, aimed at tourists, from the Scarborough Museums Trust collections. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121735a

THEY certainly knew how to write a marketing slogan in the 1930s.

‘Where existence is different’ was the proud claim of the Fairview Hotel, on South Cliff, in The Scarborough Magazine Holiday Annual 1930, from which these fascinating pictures are taken.

Making for a fascinating read today, pages from a 1930 copy of The Scarborough Magazine, aimed at tourists, in the Scarborough Museums Trust collections. Picture by Andrew Higgins 25/04/12

Making for a fascinating read today, pages from a 1930 copy of The Scarborough Magazine, aimed at tourists, in the Scarborough Museums Trust collections. Picture by Andrew Higgins 25/04/12

Quite how it was different isn’t specified, but it could be down to the fact that there are ‘no irksome rules, regulations or lights out hours’, ‘music and radiogram dancing in the new recreation room’ and ‘periodical shows’ in the “Fairview” private cinema.

Oh, and the fact that the hotel, now flats, overlooked bustling hard tennis courts – now a car park. And all for just nine shillings and sixpence a night – if you booked ‘early season’ and took a small back room on the third floor.

This intriguing glimpse into Scarborough between the wars reveals a holiday resort of some glamour. There are flappers at the Spa and in the Italian Gardens, and bathing beauties at the now long-gone South Bay pool who’d give Esther Williams a run for her money. But what’s really interesting is how much, and yet how little, has changed.

The picture of the harbour still features sailing ships and steam trawlers – but take away the fashions and the cars, and many areas of the town look much the same today.

Making for a fascinating read today, pages from a 1930 copy of The Scarborough Magazine, aimed at tourists, in the Scarborough Museums Trust collections. Picture by Andrew Higgins 25/04/12

Making for a fascinating read today, pages from a 1930 copy of The Scarborough Magazine, aimed at tourists, in the Scarborough Museums Trust collections. Picture by Andrew Higgins 25/04/12

Peasholm and the Glen are instantly recognisable, as are many of the surrounding villages. But, sadly, we no longer have daily ‘Physical Culture Classes under qualified instructors on the Sands’, or – a new feature – regular Highland Games. And the newest sports in 1930 were ‘Speed Boating’ and ‘Tunny Fishing’, which had ‘hitherto involved expensive expeditions to the Mediterranean and more distant seas’.

“This is a remarkable insight into Scarborough only 80 years ago,” said Georgette Donoghue, Marketing Manager at Scarborough Museums Trust, where the magazine is part of the Scarborough Collections. “I’m equally drawn by how much and how little has changed – the seaside is still the favourite destination of many, as recent research has backed, but somehow this period had more glamour – though I’m not sure the ‘Physical Culture Classes’ would have appealed to me!”

Georgette has unearthed the holiday annual as part of her research for her ‘Take a Peek’ talk, The Tonic Holiday on Tuesday September 25.

The talk is part of a monthly series in which Museums Trust staff host tours behind the scenes at the museum, each one themed. Please see http://www.scarboroughmuseumstrust.co.uk for more details.