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Holidays: Scarborough, 1

Early Days

Memories of holidays
 1. The impression of memory is that when I was a child we went on holiday every year to Bridlington during Whit week. We were taken there, the six of us—Mum and Dad (“Mummy” and “Daddy”, they would have been then), Nanny and Grandad Cooper, Steven and I—in a big black taxi driven by Mr. Armstrong, who lived at Anchorsholme near Cleveleys, to a boarding house run by Mr. and Mrs. Yeaman, who had a black Labrador retriever called Monty. Mr. Yeaman would go to the newsagent’s every morning for the newspaper, and Monty would carry it back in his mouth. Mrs. Yeaman cooked the food that we provided for ourselves, so one of my memories is of traipsing round the shops during our time there.
 But against there being holidays in Bridlington in every year of my childhood, I remember that we went to Scarborough instead of Bridlington—twice: once early on after we had moved from Preston to Thornton, and once later when I was about to enter my teen years. And there were three holidays at Butlin’s holiday camps, too.
 And against holidays taking place during Whit week (which falls in May or June), there are a number of photos from the earlier holiday in Scarborough, with the date “July 1956” written in Mum’s hand on the back.

July 1956
 2. The first holiday in Scarborough was in 1956. And it wasn’t during Whit week that we went, for at my Mum’s home there are still a number of photos from this holiday with the date, “July 1956”, written in Mum’s hand on the back.

“Treasure Island”
 3. The photos cover going to “Treasure Island”. To the south of Scarborough there lies a lake, called The Mere—some 700 metres long, north to south, and 100 or so wide—near the southern end of which is a small island. We boarded a boat that was done up to look like a pirate sailing-ship, but was, in fact, motorised—The Hispaniola—which took us to this “Treasure Island”. So there are photos of Steven with “Long John Silver” on The Hispaniola, of both of us with “Ben Gunn” on “Treasure Island”, and of me with a goat. There are also two certificates saying we’d hunted treasure there—there was a small sand-pit to scrabble in—and a gold doubloon (fake, of course) that Steven dug up from it.
 I myself have one of the photos, of Steve, Mum and me with “Ben Gunn” on Treasure Island.
Oliver’s Mount and monument
 4. Immediately to the east of The Mere is a long hill, Oliver’s Mount, a spur with steep sides west, north and east, but a gentle slope upwards from the south.
 The only other time I had heard the word “Mount” was in connection with The Mount in Fleetwood. I would get confused between the two, and think of the one in Fleetwood as Oliver’s Mount, whereas in fact this was just plain “The Mount”: a grassy knoll overlooking the sea-front esplanade. I also used to think that the somewhat pagoda-like building on top of the knoll was “The Mount”, not the knoll itself.

“The somewhat pagoda-like building on top of the knoll”, the Mount, Fleetwood
 At the summit of the real Oliver’s Mount, 1 km. north-east of The Mere, is a monument,[1] an obelisk, set up as a war-memorial—but there was no “Mount”, as I expected a “mount” to be. I seem to remember that we went there, along the zigzag approach road, in what Nanny and Grandad called a “charabanc”. Their vocabulary was distinctly different at some points from Mummy and Daddy’s: they had “spice”, not “sweets”; “nebs” on school caps, not “peaks”; “snecks” on doors, not “latches”; and for horse they would say “poppo”, not “gee-gee”.
[1] A monument: Was Steven’s little modelling-wax spike or “tower” (At the meal table) also called a “monument”?
Peasholm Park
 5. We visited Peasholm Park in Scarborough one afternoon. From time to time, on the boating lake, naval battles were staged, using model warships just big enough for a man to fit inside and operate the controls. Aircraft (suspended from a wire) would swoop down and attack ships, and guns on the ships would fire. One or other of the ships would sink. This wasn’t really a suitable entertainment to take me to, for it went on too long and I got fed up, and the very loud and sudden reports of the guns shocked and distressed me.

Peasholm Park, Scarborough
It may have been during this holiday that in the evening we had a walk round the illuminated wood on the island in the middle of the lake. It was entered over a willow-pattern style humpbacked bridge, and had Chinese lanterns hanging from the trees. At the summit there was a pagoda — worthy, I guess, if I had thought of it, of being called a “mount”.


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