Sarah Burdett's article "Staycations on Island are nothing new" (CP, 19-03-21) reminded me of my youth when I lived in Sandown.

My own recollections of the mid-1950s were the thousands of holidaymakers disgorging from trains at Sandown Railway Station, where the local lads, me included, would be waiting with carts to carry their cases to the hotels and bed and breakfast establishments throughout the town for a few shillings.

The same situation occurred at Shanklin.

At that time most houses took in families through the summer, with the householders sleeping in chalets and sheds in the garden.

One has to remember that few of these premises had indoor toilets and certainly no en-suite facilities in the bedroom.

A washstand would be placed in each bedroom and hot water would be supplied usually in an enamel jug for a whole family to use, before being emptied into a slop pail, which one of the holidaymakers would have to empty themselves, probably (and certainly in our case) an outside lavatory, along with the contents of the potty under the bed.

Things were unbelievably primitive but families would come back year after year.

While still at school, I worked as a deckchair attendant for a well known longshoreman.

Many families would meet up on the beach annually and lifelong friendships were established.

The date of holidays were often regulated by the factory works shutdown weeks and my mother, who worked for a local tobacconist would know the shutdown weeks for people from the Midlands and order the brand of cigarettes they smoked.

The majority of people smoked in those days and the name Park Drive comes to mind for when the car factories shut down.

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