Growing up in a Yorkshire pit town, your horizons were never very wide.
Row-on-row of terrace houses with hard-working people crowded together.
So you can imagine the joy, for one week every year, of the family travelling to a seaside paradise called Cayton Bay.
The fresh air, the greenery - the sea; it was an antidote to 51 weeks of sooty smoke, school and sameness.
My parents started taking us to Wallis's caravan site in the mid 50s when I was four, and my brother seven, and the pull of the place has never left me.
Even though Wallis's is long gone, each time I return I see the criss-crossed white log fencing, the beautiful entertainment pavilion and the happy holidaymakers; all ghosts, but living still in my mind.
No sooner had we booked in, got our bedding and found our caravan, than we were off down the steep slope to the beach.
Going down was a doddle, little legs racing to catch a glimpse of the sweeping view; coming back was a different tale, with dad often having to carry me.
Nowadays it's a real effort to stride back from the beach, but every visit is worth it, memories refreshed.


Hi there, just been looking at your site and it brought back so many memories of happy holidays spent at Wallis's Holiday Camp in the 60s and 70s. I've attached a few old photos, the first one is myself and my brother in the OK Coral with Patsy and Bernie (they were absolutely fantastic and I've often wondered over the years what became of them), the second is my brother, Dad and myself outside a caravan, the third one is again myself and my brother on the beach at Cayton Bay and the last one is my younger sisters and Dad when we stayed in one of the bungalows. We stayed all over that camp over the years, starting off in the caravans with gas lights and i remember well the shower blocks :) we also stayed a couple of times in the motel by the Rendezvous Club (that was great cos there was 2 swimming pools in the grounds up there) and stayed many times in the bungalows.
I could go and on all day about the time spent there as a child and to this day I still love to go out that way for my hols. When our kids were younger we took them to Cayton Bay as well, albeit was Haven Holidays then. .

If you have any photos of Wallis' or Cayton Bay, please email them for inclusion.  email here

A montage of memories all the way from Australia, where Tony Johnson now lives. He recalls that as a youngster the family would decamp from Durham for their annual fortnight's stay at Cayton Bay. The photos range from around 1966 to 1972


 FROM LESLEY NEW in Australia
I was so pleased when I stumbled across your website, it has already given so much pleasure reminiscing over not only my own photos but those of many others. Wallis should be extremely proud of their achievements, to have created so many irreplaceable memories and been responsible for social interaction of what you could say 'of the healing kind'.

Coming from a working class background from Hull, my father worked, as so many others in a factory, whose only annual holiday was 2 weeks in Aug. Each year we had usually a week [on very few occasions 2] at Wallis's Hoilday Camp Cayton Bay. Dad would save all year to make sure we had our holiday, I would save my threepence a week pocket money, to ensure I had enough to by crisps and a green coloured bottle of 'coke', at the OK Corral.

My earliest memories are of going with my Nanna and Grandad too & sometimes with aunts and uncles, we usually stayed in different sized caravans but tried all the accommodation from a tiny one roomed chalet, in the early days, to motel accommodation near the fish & chip shop and those near the Rendezvous club.

Each Year we would all pile on the Scarborough bus at Paragon station. Mum would be layered up with grocers [once even a cooked chicken] to save money. Mum always did something special for herself, usually bleached her hair  or shaved.

I would be thinking of what I would do this time in the talent contest- sing or dance? Hoping that I would get a chance to do a foxtrot or a waltz with Dad at the morning dance time in the Pavilion. Listening to the Big Band, the artists..Oh the excitement!!

We never tired, it must have been a welcomed relief for my parents [and Grandparents] from the hum drum life of the factories. Didn't even have to worry about the kids if they need us they just write the number at the side of the stage!

The memories are endless---- every year from about 1960 to about 1972

Finally, just to let you know I am now living in Australia, I became a Registered Nurse & my profession lead me here, where I married an Aussies & we have a beautiful son. But one thing is for sure he won't be able to experience the holidays of my childhood! No one here can begin to image my thoughts and those happy memories of yester year, maybe only my wonderful brother that was with me during Our annual trips to Cayton Bay!

Kind Regards,
Lesley New [nee Dyke]


Top picture
  Me 'twisting' in the Talent Contest & believe it or not I actually won!! I wasn't able to make a career out of it though! Haha!

Above left: Nanna and Grandad Ryan Mum[with her bleached hair! and Me aged about 4-1961

Above right: Dad in the Limbo Contest-He Won!! must have been about 1967-he actually hurt his knee & need surgery in later years

Mum and Me aged about 3yrs-1960

Above right:
Nanna and Grandad Ryan with Mum and Dad in the Rendevouz Club-must have been late 50's or 1960





They were great fun, these dual cycles. Or rather, they were if you were the one with control of the steering! The poor sidekick had to hang on to the fake handlebars and just pedal. As a younger brother, I got to do this a lot...
This photo, taken in 1969, was kindly sent in by Neal Richardson.
Neal writes: " We took two trips there, 1967 and 1969, staying in the chalets. It was simply an overdose of adventure for a young child. My Dad was originally from Scarborough, but we lived in the Midlands, making it quite a drive in our hire car. Sad to see the place go, but I guess it's only to be expected what with changing times and affluence"

If you have any photos of Wallis' or Cayton Bay, please email them for inclusion.
 email here








All smiles in this family photo from around 1935.
Neill writes: "In a collection of old photos of my Mum's, I found this of my Grandmother, Ethel Bradley, and my uncle Reg at Cayton in 1935, with Ruffy the dog!  
"My Grandmother was from Nafferton, East Riding, and the family obviously enjoyed their holidays there!"











Jan C, from the North East, writes
My sister Margaret and I were taken to Cayton Bay by our Grannie and Granddad, travelling from their back to back at Woodhouse [Cambridge Road].
We actually travelled in a car, the first time in my life I'd ever been in one. Must have been a sort of holiday taxi because they didn't drive.
We must have had a caravan like the one Jerry Chicken describes - no water or drainage, but I can't remember anything about having to go to wash blocks or pee buckets!
My most vivid memory is of the children's entertainer who was lovely and very good looking! My sister and I had been bought Whitsie clothes from C&A [Coats 'n 'Ats] including fake suede jackets.
The entertainer called us 'My best friends in the suede jackets' which made us feel very special. We used to be taken over to the cliffs for games, and we always wore them so it must have been cold. Don't remember it being cold though!
On an evening we went to the camp club with the grandparents and joined in the dancing. Joe Loss's March of the Mods was our favourite as everyone joined in a special sort of conga.
And that's the sum total of my memories - apart from being woken at stupid o'clock every morning by the seagulls on the caravan roof. Oh - and the curtains and the caravan settee/mattresses were full of moths.

Her photo (left) is from 1962ish, and Jan is the one sporting the big Wallis's badge..





From Sue Richards
Two delightful photos from Sue Richards, of her mum and dad, Les and Cora Richards, of Stockton-on-Tees. Taken probably late 50s early Sixties, and likely by the camp's official photographer. I think their smiles sum up the joy which Wallis' camp brought to guests.


   Talented Val
This smashing photo far left comes from Valerie Yates (nee Carr) and was taken at a
talent show around 1969/70 in the OK Coral.

The photo of Val on her own is around 1969. "I didnít have a costume for the fancy dress competition so my mother took down the caravan curtains and sewed them together to make a kimono. My brother wore my motherís dress and curlers. Neither of us won!"

In researching this site, I was delighted to find that a Hull trawler had been named Cayton Bay, and thanks to the kindness of Chris of the Hull Trawler Net, I can show you what the vessel looked like.
It was launched on March 1 1949, and registered that May.
With a net tonnage of 209 and a speed of 12.2K she was the last coal burner built at Beverley for a Hull owner, and switched to oil in 1955. Her last owners renamed her Bayella H72 in 1952, and she was sold for scrap in October 1966.
She is one of hundreds of vessels painstakingly documented here

and the Cayton Bay fact sheet is here:


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Site created February 2010: updated