Hmm. I must be going through a nostalgic phase at the moment because if I am lucky enough to be awarded a small carers grant soon, I intend to use it on a holiday at one of my childhood holiday haunts. Cayton Bay near Scarborough. It was the place where my sister and I spent many a happy holiday with our parents in a caravan. Every year in the first week of September. Why my Dad used to prefer going on that particular week I haven’t a clue but that was always the week that we went on holiday, year after year without fail. Funnily enough we were often blessed with some terrific weather and I can remember one year where I actually got badly sunburnt on my back.
In those days, the caravan’s were not as they are now, full of mod cons. They were pretty basic to say the least. They had no electricity. Just Calor Gas. The lights were gas that had to be lit with a match. Water had to be fetched using a rather large container from the water taps dotted around the camp site. This was our job, to fetch the water. I can’t remember the cooker or the sink much, but I do remember that our beds doubled as the seating for the dining table during the day. I can also remember waking up one morning to find an earwig on my pillow. Funny isn’t it how those incidents stay in your mind.
The beach there is absolutely fantastic, and if I do manage to pay a return visit I will make a point of taking a memorable look at the rocks there. For its here where we used to spend hours and hours searching for crabs. Or starfish or any sea creature we could find. If we found any crabs, we used to put them in some water in a bucket and take them back to the caravan. No mean feat seeing as Cayton Bay has quite a lot of steps to climb from the beach! I can remember that we used to be so upset in the morning when they were no longer to be found inside the bucket. It would have been the fifties. On one of the holidays, I can vaguely remember hearing Elvis singing ‘Girl of my best friend’ on the jukebox in the camp cafe. Mind you, that was probably the year that my mother took just myself and my friend from school because I had missed going with them earlier as I was taking my O levels. I would be sixteen then.
Night time was spent watching various entertainment provided in the Pavilion. This was a fantastic newish building to the right hand side of the holiday camp itself. I remember it as always seeming huge but I bet that if i return it probably won’t be so impressive. The camp had a hire bike shop where we also spent many a happy hour travelling around the paths on the camp pedalling one of those four wheeler bikes that every holiday camp seemed to delight in providing. Two of you sat side by side pedalling like mad. There were no brakes, you had to pedal backwards if you wanted to slow down. They were great fun and I do recall that we even went as far as Cayton Village on one. Of course there were hardly any cars on the roads in those days.
We spent some wonderful holidays there, although it mustn’t have been that much of a holiday for my poor mother who had to cook all the meals. Now if you stay in one (now referred to not as caravans but as holiday homes or mobile homes) they are like miniature homes from homes with electricity, gas, televisions, fridge/freezers, microwaves, full size cookers, showers, toilets full size master bedrooms etc. Some even have en suites. They have come a long way since the fifties and I only wish I could have taken my Dad on holiday in one before he died just so he could see how they had changed. I did take my Mum, we used to take her with us most years that we went on a holiday when the children were small. I never lost my love for holidays in one and if ever I had been fortunate enough to win the Lottery, I think that one of the very first things I would have purchased would have been a Holiday Home on some park somewhere.