Kiveton & Wales Heritage

Kiveton & Wales Heritage

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‘Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside!' This section is devoted to holidays, those weeks when many from Kiveton and Wales would jump on trains and head off to the coast, particularly the East Coast but also Blackpool for many families. There are some wonderful pictures in this collection. As one local resident, a school boy in the 1930s, told us, ‘They might have been stood on the beach, with trousers up round their knees, but you could still tell which ones were the miners.'

Before the twentieth century, there was little scope to take holidays away from home but there rapidly emerged seaside towns aimed at the hard-working populations of Britain's villages, towns and cities.

A few Kiveton and Wales families moved there permanently to set up boarding houses, which meant friends and neighbours could enjoy a friendly and cut-price welcome for many years to come!

As you can see from the photographs on this page and in the special photo archive section about holidays, summer holidays were a big part of family life in Kiveton and Wales. Holidays had their own routines and things to look forward to, whether photos taken with heads popping through stocks or meeting up with old friends for a chat at favourite spots on the seafront. It was common for a number of families to travel or meet up together when away. These holidays were often defining moments in people's lives, providing special memories and sometimes first romances.

Not everyone could go away, as you'd have had to save up all year to be able to afford to go away when the pit stopped for those few days in the summer. However, local people from all backgrounds looked forward to day trips, when the exciting sights and sounds of the seaside could be sampled for just a few hours, with an equally exciting train trip at each end of the day, on the stream trains which bellowed smoke into the summer skies above as hundreds of local people were ferried to and from the coast. The pit also organised day trips away, and you can see officials and staff getting on board coaches here.

Some of the biggest trips were when hundreds of children made their way to the coast. Before Kiveton Bridge was opened in 1929, they were led from the Kiveton Park and Wales down to Kiveton Park Station, There they stood in a long tidy line waiting for their train. What these days were like, including coming back and wandering through the pit yard on their way home, is recounted in great detail by Mary Warnes in her interview here.

For many years, day trips were organised to the seaside, and some of the photographs we have show hundreds of locals gathered together on the beach. The Wales Youth Club organised holidays, including to the Isle of Man as this photograph of excited local youngsters in front of a guest house shows.

For the older generations these trips were perhaps a little more uncomfortable, as some of the photos we have of men with hanker-chiefs on their heads and wearing their Sunday best sat on hot beaches seem to suggest.

Most holidays were to the east coast but some families ventured further afield when they went away. Photos here include the Fentons, Chapmans and Hryschkos away in the east, in Liverpool and Blackpool.

When day-trippers arrived at the seaside there often wasn't much time for them to enjoy all the entertainment on offer. A few hours might be spent on the beach or walking along the promenade with ice creams. What lots of our witnesses remember, whether from the 1920s or 1950s, was having a big feed of fish and chips before getting the train home.

Over the years, holidays changed a great deal. The resorts on the east coast are still loved by many people but others now go to other parts of the country and when foreign holidays became available the summers became a time when many locals started to fly away to Spain and other places, enjoying new sights, sounds and tastes - you can see Ray Wood trying sangria for the first time here!

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