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.
FROM KAREN HANSON
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. .
FROM TONY JOHNSON
FROM LESLEY NEW in Australia
FROM NEAL RICHARDSON
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"
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..
|A MARITIME LINK
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|