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Gorleston Super Holiday Camp 1937-1973

Gorleston-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth

 Memories, Postcards and Personal Photographs of a fantastic place where thousands of people enjoyed their holidays from the 1930's to the 1970's (We also have photos and postcards of many other Holiday Camps as listed below left)

 

Gorleston Super Holiday Camp (later known as Elmhurst Court) was situated on Bridge Road, Gorleston on Sea, Great Yarmouth. The photograph above was taken from Bridge Road near to where the railway ran under the road, which is now a pathway. The site is now occupied by the Orbit Housing Estate.  Gorleston Super Holiday Camp was a fantastic place where thousands of people spent their summer holidays from the 1930's to the 1970's. It was closed during the war years and used as a military training camp, reopening on Saturday 15th June 1946. Please click on the list on the left to find out more.

If you visited, stayed or worked at the camp, we would like to hear from you with your memories, photographs, postcards or memorabilia. We would also like to hear from you with your comments and suggestions on the site. Please contact us at gary.seeley1@btinternet.com

Sample letter from the 'Letters and e-mails' section:

We visited Gorleston Holiday Camp (later known as Elmhurst Court) from the mid 1960's until it closed in 1973.

I was aged about 7 when we first visited Gorleston Super Holiday Camp in about 1965. I remember the excitement of mum and dad packing the car up and leaving very early on a Saturday morning. My dad had a dark blue Ford Zephyr with huge bench seats. My mum, dad and I would sit in the front and we would normally pick up other family members or friends on the way and they would sit in the back. I still remember the smell of the plastic seats and I was often being ill out of the window as a result. The journey from our house in Stockwell, London seemed to go on forever and it always seemed to be on a very hot day. We always stopped off at a roadside cafe. The only thing I can remember about those places was a warm bottle of coke, pinball machines, the sound of a hot jet of steam making the drinks, the smell of coffee and watching the Jukebox in action picking up the 45rpm records and placing them on the turntable.

When we finally arrived I couldn't wait to look around the place to see what had changed and to see my friends from the year before. I only really saw my parents at meal times as I was so occupied with everything going on. What a superb place Gorleston Holiday Camp was. We all have lovely memories of the place. Every day was packed with entertainment whatever the weather. Swimming, Putting, Snooker, Table Tennis, Tennis, Cricket, Football, Bowls, silly games with a very large ball, Donkey Derby, Bingo, Film Shows, Competitions, Campers Show, Dancing, Sports Day including the egg and spoon race, the sack race, the 3 legged race, Tug-of-War (both on the grass and across the pool) rambles down to the beach.....the list goes on and on. Most of the entertainment was arranged by Eddie Olsen who worked extremely hard from early morning to late at night and never seemed to take a day off! Eddie had a great personality and somehow used to remember everyone's name. He had a strong Welsh accent and I believe he was married. Does anyone remember Eddie? What did he do after the camp closed?

The accommodation was very basic to start with, just one room, no bathroom or toilet, metal bedsteads, small sink, wardrobe with a curtain on the front and a small chest of drawers, in fact it most probably hadn't changed since the place was built in the 1930's.Through the years, money was invested and more and more chalets were upgraded or re-built each year. The chalets were cleaned every morning (except Sundays) by local women who were always very friendly and enjoyed a chat. I can still remember the smell of whatever cleaning agent they used. I have smelt it since and it always reminds me of opening that chalet door.

The food was fantastic with three full meals a day and afternoon tea and cakes. How did we manage to eat so much? Mainly Spanish waiters who lived on the camp served all the meals. A gong was sounded, firstly at the front entrance and then at the rear entrance, by a man who just used to appear, to announce that meals were being served. I don't know where he came from or where he went, but he was always on time! 

There was entertainment and live music every evening in the Ballroom and the Bar with children's entertainment in the Ballroom every night. A chorus of Goodnight Campers in the Ballroom would round off every evening. Prizes were given out on Friday night for all the competition winners throughout the week by the Managing Director and his wife, Mr. Lin and Mrs. Grace Thrower.

The camp had a strong affiliation with disabled groups and would often have a small group of disabled people and their helpers staying at the camp. Disabled groups would take over the camp for  the last 2 weeks of the season.This was paid for by the generosity of the campers thoughout the season.

I have since visited the site and walked around. The Orbit housing estate now occupies the site after the camp was demolished in about 1974. The only things that can be recognised are the original steps leading down to the site from Bridge Road, which used to have toilets underneath, and the original roadway entrance off the A12. This is now blocked off to traffic but can be accessed by foot. It all seems a very different place now.

Fantastic place! Many many great memories! So long ago!

GS - Cheam, Surrey

 

 

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