Miscellany and detritus, from the writer of Is This Mutton?com

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Back to the 70's: Bournemouth, 1974

I'm very glad that I was an inveterate documenter of my childhood and that I managed to hold on to "my archive" despite my mum being an inveterate thrower-outer.

In 1974 we stayed in a hotel for the first time for a week's holiday in Bournemouth. Mum had started working part-time and she used her wages to fund our holiday treat.

I faithfully documented everything, from the colour of the wallpaper and carpet in the two bedrooms to the menu for the week and the impressions that Mike Yarwood did.

We had a very busy time in Bournemouth. Every day is filled with activity, from going to three shows and the cinema for The Three Musketeers, in the evening to taking in the delights of Corfe Castle, Tucktonia and Compton Acres by day. We only had one day on the beach and it was a grey overcast day with just one person swimming: me.

The hotel was called the Hollyhurst. There were no TVs in the rooms or en suite bathrooms. Guests were summoned to breakfast and dinner by the sounding of a gong by the waiter we named "Carlos Alberto," on whom I had a bit of a crush. I was devastated to see him hanging out in the park with his girlfriend.

The menu highlights were: orange juice starter (!) followed by roast chicken and trifle for pudding. Very 70s.

Everyone watched Top of the Pops in those day and  remember all the guests crowding into the communal sitting room to watch The Three Degrees, who were number 1.

Time: 8.45am. Destination : Bournemouth
The intrepid party climbed into their red Ford Cortina eager for the off. They had ample luggage, four suitcases plus bags and buckets. The journey took six and three quarter hours. The party passed through Exeter, Honiton and Axminster. Unfortunately the anxious holidaymakers were held up at Dorchester for over an hour. They also had to push the car, which was in a very stubborn mood.
Once in Bournemouth, another incident befell them...they couldn't find the hotel! After half an hour of map poring and arguing, they found the Hollyhurst Hotel in West Hill Road, firmly sandwiches between the Kiwi and the three-star Tralee, famous for its clanking of dishes in the kitchen,
Opposite was the salubrious four-star Savoy, complete with pool.
"Looks better than it did in the book" remarked wise Mrs Tyler, a woman of medium height with hair of an undecided colour.
Out came the cases and in marched the Tylers. They collected their keys - no 19 and 22 - and climbed up the two flights of stairs......


Sam in Putney said...

Ah wow, I love Bournmouth and we had a Cortina too in the seventies! Well done for keeping your notes and the part about the off white net curtains made me giggle, we all remember those. Great post thanks :)
Sam (London)

Mandy Wenman said...

My grandparents actually owned and ran the Hollyhurst Hotel in Bournemouth at that time. Many happy memories of holidays there (though usually out of season!) Bournemouth always seemed so exciting!

Ann Bloomsbury's said...

I went to Bournemouth for my honeymoon can you believe, it was back in the 1960's and we had a wonderful time, fond memories indeed :)
Thank you
Ann in Cheshire

Anonymous said...

My family stayed at the Holyhurst Hotel for one week every year in the seventies. I remember the gong, orange juice starter and the clanking of the plates coming from the next hotel along the street.

Unknown said...

Stayed in the neighbouring Tralee hotel late 60s early 70s. Your post brings back similar memories. Great times. Didn't usually go in the tv lounge as full of 'old' people (probably in their 40s)! Ox tongue and Wiltshire ham salads along with minestrone soup and pear belle Helene all figured prominently on the menu!

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