70 YEARS ago, in July, 1952, more people than usual were leaving Skipton to spend their holidays on the East and West coasts, reported the Craven Herald.

The weather though for the first week of the local holidays was not good - it being cold and showery, no change there then.

On the South and South-West coasts, people made the long journeys via London to Bournemouth and Torquay, while others headed to the West coast, where Morecambe was being favoured over Blackpool.

The Herald reported that on the first Saturday of the holidays, 80 people set off from Skipton heading for Morecambe, and 32 for Blackpool, while on the Sunday, 70 boarded trains for both resorts. There were also 50 bookings for London, but it was believed most of those would be travelling to the South coast. There were 23 bookings for Southport, 16 for Skegness, 10 for Douglas, 12 for Belfast, and ‘quite a number’ for Scarborough and Bridlington.

Day excursions were popular in the first week of the holidays, with 400 day bookings to Leeds on just one day.

Five West Yorkshire buses left Skipton on one day heading to Scarborough and Bridlington while Wallace Arnold Tours ran buses to both resorts and also Blackpool and Morecambe.

Ribble Motor Services sent also to Morecambe and Blackpool, in addition to Keswick.

Four year old Roger Barton had a lucky escape when he was plucked from the sea while on holiday at Morecambe with his family.

Little Roger, who lived in Keighley Road, was rescued from the sea by a woman who ‘walked away without giving her name’ reported the Herald.

The Herald reported: “Roger, who was paddling opposite the Winter Gardens, fell face down in the incoming tide and was in danger of drowning when he was picked up. He was taken to hospital suffering from shock, but after attention, he was allowed to leave. Happily, he is non the worse from his experience and all he will say about his day at the seaside is that he ‘went on an express and there was a lot of sand’”.

The Craven Pothole Club gave Gaping Gill a miss in 1952; its annual camp was held at Bull Pot Farm, Barbondale.

A draw for stay-at-home holiday makers was the North British-Harrogate 2,000 guineas professional golf tournament at Pannal. The four day tournament featured open champion Bobby Locke and others including Peter Thompson, from New Zealand. Players came from around the world, including Australia, Egypt, Ceylon, South Africa and Belgium.

Some 26 boys from the Brougham Street County Secondary School, Skipton, spent a week’s holiday at the Douglas Holiday Camp in the Isle of Man. They enjoyed tours around the island and took part in games arranged by the camp’s sports organiser, the well known centre half of the Manchester City team.

In a leader, the Herald commented on the thorny issue of school holidays being ‘too long’.

“Craven mothers still chant ‘teacher’s rest; mother’s pest’ at holiday time, and just now many hundreds of schoolchildren are proving the wisdom of the old saying. The streets of our towns and villages are filled with laughing, zestful youngsters, and every mother declares before long that school holidays are too lengthy.

“Many of their games are traditional, but when I asked a small boy in Skipton whether he played cowboys and indians, he told me that nowadays, children play jet planes or atom warfare.”

It was also the time of the year, reported the Herald, when many people returned from holiday and made ‘unfavourable comparisons’ between the sunny resorts where they had stayed and their home town or village.

“Although it is home, it appears very drab against the brightness of a seaside holiday town or a gay holiday camp or even a rural village in another part of England. It comes as an unpleasant jolt to return to the grey and green drabness of Craven after the bright colours and gaieties of the holiday world.”

Whereas there was a tendency to leave things as they were after an initial enthusiasm to brighten things up, there had been some notable exceptions.

The ground in front of Skipton Parish Church had been brightened up with a circular flower bed which was maintained by children of the Odeon Club.

The Herald hoped that in 1953, Coronation year, more flower displays would appear across Craven and that a ‘brighter Craven’ would appear.