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Holiday in Scarborough — Day One

1965, the year that changed my life
Pamela’s twelfth letter

Saturday 17th July 1965
 1. The day I had been eagerly awaiting arrived, Saturday 17th July 1965, the day I would see Pam at Scarborough. I have no memory of the actual journey, only that Peter and I arrived by train at Scarborough Central station and waited for the camp coach to pick us up and take us to the Pentecostal Fellowship Camp.

 Very few camps have their own transport but we have a 41
seater luxury coach which offers first class transportation to and
from Scarborough, free of charge, every day.
 We do not guarantee to bring everybody into camp, but will
do our best with your assistance. We are not able to go round to all
the bus stations and railway stations to meet everyone. The bus
will be outside the Central Railway Station at 2.30 p.m., 4.30 p.m.,
and 6.30 p.m. every Saturday.

                —extract from the 1965 brochure
 2. The so-called luxury coach, which had certainly seen better days, took us in a northerly direction, seven miles or so, turned left at Burniston down a country lane (“Gumboots Lane”, I thought the sign said, with some amusement, till Peter later pointed out that it was spelled with a C: “Cumboots”),[1] and finally the coach turned right, into the camp driveway. Ahead of us — on a slight rise, I think — was a cluster of single-storey felt-roofed buildings,[2] and beyond them three or four rows of wooden huts, about thirty in number. These latter were the “chalets” in which we were accommodated.
[1] The so-called luxury coach… turned left at Burniston down a country lane (“Gumboots Lane”, I thought the sign said, with some amusement, till Peter later pointed out that it was spelled with a C: “Cumboots Lane”): The “country lane” is in fact called Limestone Road, so the memory of “Cumboots Lane” is puzzling. It’s not as if the lane has been renamed “Limestone Road” since 1965; it is so named on all the maps I have consulted, including the Ordnance Survey six-inch maps published in 1854 and 1953. To be sure, the lane does lead to a hamlet named Cumboots, spelled “Coomboots” on the Ordnance Survey maps.

[2] The so-called luxury coach… turned left at Burniston down a country lane…, and finally the coach turned right, into the camp driveway. Ahead of us—on a slight rise, I think—was a cluster of single-storey felt-roofed buildings:

“The so-called luxury coach… turned left at Burniston down a country lane…” — 2014 photo.

2014 photo

No longer a “country lane” in this 2014 photo!

The coach bore left at this point — 2014 photo.

2014 photo

2014 photo

“…and finally the coach turned right, into the camp driveway” — 2014 photo.

The Scarborough Camp site was occupied by “Applegrove… holiday lodges” in this 2014 photo.

2014 photo

Image from Google Maps

Photo from the 1965 brochure

From photo posted in February 2010 by Claire Kinkead on the Facebook group "Fond memories of Scarborough Camp". I'd forgotten that the chalets were "semi-detached". The nearer of at least four of the pairs pictured has an extension. (The chalet that Chris, Peter and I were in was the more basic model, though.)

 We are able to offer a limited number of chalets with
extensions. The extension is a small annexe providing extra space
for storage of cases, etc., and although we have not been able to
have a piped water supply and connected drainage many people we
feel will use this annexe for private washing. Hot water can be
obtained from the central toilets.
 The price is 10/- per person extra.
 When you use the annexe you will agree they are more than
worth it.
 Will you please indicate on the booking form if you wish to
book one of these chalets.

Prices per week including Coach:
       The price is unchanged in spite of rising costs
  Chalet for 3 persons — £6/10/0 each
  Chalet for 2 persons — £6/17/6 each
  Chalet for 1 person — £7/17/6
  Children under 14 — £5/0/0 each
  Children under 7 — £3/10/0 each
  Price per day — £1/5/0 each
 Accounts to be paid on arrival at camp, excluding deposit paid
when booking.
   Deposit £2 each week to be paid on booking.
   Under 7 years, £1 deposit, each week.
  These can be hired: Sheets 6/- extra per pair; pillow case 9d. each.
  The Greatest Value for Money in the holiday world today.
                —extracts from the 1965 brochure
 3. Presumably there was some waiting around while formalities such as payment of bills were undergone, then we were shown to our chalet.
 In our chalet there was a double bed, with a single bed to the right of it. I think Peter and I slept in the double bed and Chris in the single. The chalets were comfortable enough, though very basic. For washing and for the toilet one had to go to a separate, shared facility.

Judging by this photo from the 1965 brochure, the "single bed" would have been, in fact, a bunk. I'm not sure whether our chalet was the left of the semi-detached pair, as above,—

—or the right of the pair (I've flipped the photo horizontally). Perhaps the latter. The view is through the opened door, with the exterior door-knob just visible at the edge.

A price within your reach, a Camp Coach, a Modern Camp, a Sea View.
• Ladies’ and Gents’ Toilets, with Water Lavatories, Bath rooms and showers.
• Comfortable Lounges.
• Electric Light fixed in Toilets and Chalets.
• The best of well cooked food.
• Hygienic conditions throughout camp.
• Double Fish and Chip Frying Range.
• The site is back from the road, making it perfectly private.
• Free parking for your car. This is very important in these days.
                —extract from the 1965 brochure

 4. Chris took the cheaper option of travelling by bus, and even then he carefully chose his route. I seem to remember the “old faithful J1” from Blackpool to Leeds being a favoured mode of transport for him on a number of journeys, and I think that the J1 indeed was one of the buses he got on this occasion.

 5. I have the impression that when the girls arrived their Mum and Dad were with them. Pastor and Mrs. Williams were also staying in Scarborough this week, but they were in accommodation in the town itself. However, after they had gone, the eagerly anticipated bliss, of time spent alone with Pamela, or in a foursome with Chris and Hazel, just didn’t materialise. Both Hazel and Pamela seemed to be keeping themselves to their own group (“another three girls”, according to her second letter to me), and avoiding Chris and me. One of the three was the somewhat simple-minded but very vocal Mary,
[more] with her thick-lensed spectacles sitting askew on the nose of her vacuous face. She was getting plenty of Pam’s attention, but I was being ignored.

 6. Meal times and meeting times were indicated by the sounds of a military march
[3] from the loudspeaker horn placed outside the largest of the central buildings; it sounded very tinny and scratchy (or “scrawpy”, as Peter and I would have put it). Peter and I reckoned that it was an old “78” that they were playing (or “ploughing”, we may have said).
 This central building was used both as a dining room and a meeting hall. As a dining room, it would have perhaps sixteen tables, each seating eight people, eight tables this side and eight that side of a central aisle. At the end of a meal, it was the responsibility of the occupants of each table to wash their dishes in a polythene bowl of hot water, provided for that purpose.
 When the building was used as a meeting hall, the tables would be folded up and stacked at the back and the chairs arranged to face the raised platform at the front.

[3] A military march—perhaps Blaze Away by Abe Holzmann (1874–1939).

Campers are not expected to take a turn at duties but must be
responsible for keeping Chalets clean and washing up at their own table.
                —extract from the 1965 brochure

 7. We sat at the same table as Hazel, Pam and the others of their party. It was at the back of the hall (or not far off the back), on the left of the aisle. How Hazel and Pam’s seeming avoidance of Chris and me became patent — whether they sat elsewhere at the table than next to us, or whether they just didn’t say much to us — I can’t remember.

 8. From my description of the layout of the tables and chairs, it is clear that there were up to 128 “campers” there — people of all ages, though I only remember a few, mostly young people.
 In the Williams party — or perhaps I should say the “Sharon Full Gospel Church party” — were: Hazel and Pam (obviously); the aforementioned Mary; another girl who went to Sharon, Jean Smith; and Jean’s cousin Barbara, who lived in Broadbottom, near Manchester, but who didn’t go to church and wasn’t “saved”.
 From Kirkby-in-Ashfield, near Nottingham, were: Ian W—, a lad of about twelve (possibly thirteen — at any rate, he was still a “little boy” type, a bit on the plump side, not yet a “youth”); his friend Robert, who must have been at least a couple of years older than Ian because he worked in the local coal mine in Kirkby (I don’t think he went to Ian’s church; he was just a friend); two sisters of around our age, Barbara (the older of the two) and Doreen Meredith; a girl around our age or slightly older, Fay; a middle-aged bachelor type with an overhanging upper lip, Wilf; and, I think, their pastor, Pastor Hollis.
 From Blackburn were: Ann Fenton, with shoulder-length curls of fair hair, and her friend Naomi, with shorter, dark hair — and I think Tom Heaney, a slim, freckle-faced young man, with auburn hair combed in a D.A., and wearing winkle-picker shoes, was in the Blackburn party.

 9. Our genial host was “Uncle Tom”, Tom Wilson, a man of about fifty, a bachelor, with a round body, and a round, almost clown-like face with arched, bushy eyebrows. He spoke with a well-bred, “fruity” voice with just a hint of gravel. He would typically be attired with a brightly patterned Hawaiian-style beach shirt, though he may have worn a white shirt and black bow tie for Sundays. He was joined for spiritual ministry by the older and much more conservative Pastor Oldershaw. There were other staff at the camp, mostly young people, all well scrubbed and well groomed — students, perhaps (Bible college students?), doing summer jobs.

“‘Uncle Tom’, Tom Wilson [right]… Pastor Oldershaw [left]”

"Other staff at the camp… all well scrubbed and well groomed"

The combined spiritual ministry of Uncle Tom and Pastor Oldershaw
is a great feature of the camp meetings. But we are also visited each
year by leading ministers from England and overseas.
                —extract from the 1965 brochure

 10. That evening, in the first of several joyful and enthusiastic camp meetings, Uncle Tom probably taught us the lively chorus which became, almost, our anthem for the whole week:

The rain is over and the winter is gone,
The time for the singing of the birds has come.
It’s summertime down in my heart.
The pasture’s green, the skies are blue,
Everything in the Spirit is new.
It’s summertime down in my heart.

It’s summertime —
My heart is really free.
It’s summertime —
Now Jesus lives in me.
It’s summertime —
What glorious liberty!
It’s summertime down in my heart.
 11. Chris and I returned to our chalet perplexed by the indifference being shown us by Hazel and Pamela. We couldn’t understand it. We were supposed to be going out with them. They were supposed to be our girlfriends. Why were they treating us this way?

Holiday in Scarborough — Day Two

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