Scarborough – happy memories

As I mentioned in my blog yesterday – we are in Scarborough – another gem of the English East Coast.

It is our friend Amanda’s Birthday (I didn’t ask – it’s rude) and we are here for a surprise…

I think Amanda was pleased with her present from me - you can't go wrong with a tee shirt?

We stayed last night in The Crown Spa Hotel – which is very nice. And not at all like Butlins. It is announced as the only 4* Hotel in Scarborough.

It’s quite a few years since I was last in Scarborough – I have many happy memories of being at Peasholm Park as a child. It’s China theme still sticks in my mind – it celebrates its Centerary this year! And one of my earliest memories of a beach is at Scarborough.

My oldest ‘toy’ was found on the beach here! As you can see from the picture – it’s worn better than me! Apparently I found it when I was three – so it’s 45 years old – at least…

What is amazing about Scarborough is that it is a place which seems stuck in time. Whelks on the Sea-Front, men with knotted handhkerchiefs on their heads, bellies out and humming to blaring Gary Puckett and the Union Gap singing Young Girl! This is a place that grew up in the Railway age, but didn’t notice when the railways went. Some of the architecture from that era is stunning. But it seems stuck with nowhere to go – except into the sea. It would be a shame if this was all it had to look forward too.

But this is still a Seaside place. There were plenty of people on the beach – some even on ‘award winning donkeys’. I did neither – as it was a bit chilly for a dip and I wasn’t sure what the award was for? Best flea?

By Tim Garratt Posted in Nottingham Tagged Amanda Crow, Crown Spa Hotel, Donkeys, Holbeck Hotel, Peasholm Park, Scarborough,

Butlins – trying to forget

Butlins in Skegness celebrated its 75th Birthday last week. Billy Butlin had set up the camp so that families could spend some time together – and the ‘it’s so bracing’ Skegness was his first venture.

The happy camp spawned the famous Redcoats. Happy people with smiley faces to make your stay a joy.

I almost daren’t tell you this, but a few years ago (10 perhaps) we were so disorganised in sorting a holiday we decided to give the place a try. We had seen on the Holiday Programme that they had invested ‘millions’ in upgrading the place – the huts were now like proper houses (New England style as I recall). There was an indoor pool and a spa. And entertainment till you drop.

It was truly awful. I think we managed three days. The house was ok, but the rest of the place was stuck in some sort of time warp. I swear that men walked around with knotted handkerchiefs on their heads. Women swam in the bra’s. 24 hour non-stop karaoke was the form of entertainment. The pool was just appalling.

In fact it is the second worse place I have ever stayed. My good mate Richard was left in charge of booking our golf hotel in Scotland last September – I think he may have chosen it on ‘VFM’ – at £24 each it promised ‘a must for a lovers of things Scottish’. It was truly awful – modelled mostly on Fawlty Towers – certainly last upgraded in the mid 70′s when Basil stormed onto our screens. The Landlord even ‘did’ Snuff. Richard has been demoted from Hotel monitor to Milk monitor for the rest of his life.

So congratulations to Butlins for lasting this long. 75 not out is pretty good…

I drove past the place two weeks ago – and that reminded me: Thats what you should always do – drive past it.

As this blog goes to post I am on my way to Scarborough for the weekend – more of that later perhaps! I must be in some sort of holiday-camp-retro-status….