The Now and Then column with Aled Jones: Looking at the south beach and Spa area

Aled Jones, who is a regular contributor to the Bridlington Free Press, has created a new ‘now and then’ article for readers to enjoy.

This Edwardian postcard, date stamped 1911, shows the south beach and the New Spa.
This Edwardian postcard, date stamped 1911, shows the south beach and the New Spa.

This time Mr Jones, who colllects vintage postcards of the Bridlington area, has contrasted one of the Bridlington Spa area with a modern day photograph.

The colourised vintage late Edwardian postcard from 1911 shows how the landscape has changed in 100 years.

Mr Jones said: “Here is a very nice, colourised vintage Late Edwardian postcard (date stamped January, 1911) with a fabulous view of the south beach and New Spa (the name used for Bridlington Spa after the complex burnt down in 1906 and had to be rebuilt at a cost of around £4.000).

This modern day photo shows the area as it looks today.

“In the background, on South Marine Drive, are only a handful of residences due to the fact that most buildings there were constructed just after WW1.

“Nowadays this area forms one of the town’s premier residential thoroughfares.

“The New Spa complex included attractive flower beds, walks, a lake and glass-domed bandstand (pictured right) in addition to a theatre and concert hall.

“Such was the appeal of the fine facilities that visitors came from all over the land to savour their delights.

“There was even a top-class refreshment room, Field’s Oriental Cafe, offering the tastiest afternoon teas.

“However, entrance to the gardens was not free – daily admission cost a silver sixpence.

“Interestingly, the back of the postcard has ink handwriting on it, and provides a charming insight into the social life of the young Bridlington lady who sent the card to a friend, Miss J Gibson of Hull, all those decades ago.

“It says ‘Have you been to very many parties this year, I have been to a nice lot, I went to one every day last week.

“I went to a 21st birthday party and had a lovely time. I shall be glad when the Parade opens’.

“Important note: Parade refers to Royal Prince’s Parade, entrance to which was by ticket only, in January 1911 it would be out of season and therefore closed.

“What is also so very striking about this old postcard are the massive stone boulders (or concrete slabs?) forming such an important part of the sea defences a hundred years ago at ‘breezy’ Bridlington.

“However, when compared with the modern photographic replication, showing the same view as it appears today, those huge rocks now appear almost totally flattened, due in no small part to decades of heavy erosion by the relentless sea.”