Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Having a Good Time At Blackpool, 1926 (with a hint of 1970s)

I love this one. A postcard sent home to Grandma almost 90 years ago. The postcard has a sentimental theme, guaranteed to appeal to a Grandma wondering how her little treasure was getting on away from home on holiday.

The bit of the caption reading "from Blackpool" is in a different font than the main caption and in fact has been stamped on either by the printers or later. The stamping has been done by machine because it is indented a tiny bit which you can feel by running your finger along the card.

In this way the card would sell to any seaside holiday town with the appropriate name stamped on later.

Postmarked on the 1st July 1926, the card is written in pencil to an address in Colne, in east Lancashire and is totally of its time and place in the message.

Dear Grandma,

I am having a good time in Blackpool. We are in a deck chair swanking.

Your Elsie.

And for added bonus a couple of comic postcards from somewhere not too far from the 1920s.

"It's very full down here, but I've got a little room to myself, with a nice frame to put your photo in!"

This is quite funny and these days we would laugh at the idea that anyone would put up with such conditions. But in living memory holiday guest houses were very different places to those you generally find now. My own parents came to Blackpool in 1974 to open a guest house or small hotel. En-suite rooms were almost unheard of then. Instead there was a toilet on each floor and you scurried to and from it, hoping you wouldn't meet anyone else to see you in your nightwear.

Advertising features then, displayed on signs hanging in the front window, were things like Colour TV Lounge - even the "colour" bit was fairly new then... Or Goblin Teasmade in every room. This was a combined alarm clock (analogue, naturally!) and tea-making apparatus that made a pot of tea for the time set on the alarm clock. In practice the hiss and eventual bubbling of the warming water woke you about half an hour before the tea was ready...

Two of the larger bedrooms in the hotel they eventually bought had three double beds in each room. Strangers might no longer share a bed, but some would obviously share a room. "We've been so full at times we've had to have people sleeping in the bath..." they were told at one place they looked at. Just for the record, these practices came to a stop once they took over...

"Waitress! What does this mean? There's a fly in my cup!"
"How would I know, I'm not a fortune teller!"

Ah, the hotel dining room... My parents, on occasion, tried to be just a little too sophisticated for their clientele. Having served cauliflower florets with the roast one night, they took small jugs of cheese sauce into the dining room. Clearing them up at the end of the main course my Mum noticed they were all still full and as she picked one up someone said "Why are you taking the custard away - is there no pudding?"

The "good old days?"

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