you remember holidays at Silverdale? Do you recognise any
of the children in the pictures?
E-mail us at Leeds@bbc.co.uk
with your memories.
was a domestic at the camp in 1993 and was there for a few
years .When they had there open days then I was asked to organise
a wrestling show for them I had a mate who did wrestling I
asked him if he could do it for the camp and me he said yes
.I finished work on the Saturday at 5pm and went off to blackpool
to pick up the ring ready for the open day the next day got
into work early and put up the ring - I later got a phonecall
to say _ had to do the MC's job as well has the ref's job
and I gladly did it and enjoyed it more than the kids did
. Good job everybody knew me, wrestlers too... I've had plenty
of happy times there with the kids .while I was working there.
I also remember an RAF helicopter coming to rescue some stranded
people who were stuck on the rocks /cliffs just behind the
camp the kids were on the beach at the same time but they
were all ok it must have been quite an experience for them
all . My parents are on the committee now and have been for
a good few yers. I was near the camp this past few weeks,
I can still hear the kids singing the camp song now. I think
I've still got my Leeds Children's Holiday Camp t-shirt upstairs
in a cupboard somewere. I'll have to dig it out and wear it.
The kids used to call me Mario - I wonder how many kids remember
me from 1993 to 1997? Best wishes.
the palpitations, nightmares and sweating had stopped I gave some thought to those
days in the 60's. Nearly everyone I know in Seacroft went to Silverdale during
the 60's. I too went to George Street and donned the oversized clothing and after
a tearful farewell to my parents climbed aboard the vehicle from hell that bellowed
clouds of smoke and coughed and spluttered better than Chitty Chitty bang Bang.
What a joyous ride through country lanes listening to the birds sing and 30 odd
kids bellowing because it was the first time they had left home. On arrival it
was time to hand over my 10 bob postal order, a kings ransom in them days, which
was rationed out during the time I was there. Sharing a dormitory with 40 odd
strange kids and getting undressed in my string vest and undies was quite daunting
but being young I soon adapted. What an experience though. The beach down the
clifftop, the out door swimming pool. I swear that even in the summer time they
kept a couple of penguins in the arctic cold waters to keep the bugs and flies
at bay. The daily walks were great and must have been the footprint for future
"team building" courses. The first church visit on Sunday, compulsory,
did not go too well. Our group talked as kids do and before our customary hot
milk and 2 x biscuits for supper we had to write a letter of apology. The surprise
the next Sunday was a thank you from the clergy and the best ice cream cone I
have ever taken. After trying to run away once, where to I do not know, I settled
down and the two weeks spent at Silverdale are etched on my mind for ever. Fond
memories of people met from other areas, the outings, the loneliness of being
away from home and family will always be remembered. It is a topic of conversation
that always gets a buzz going when ever Silverdale is mentioned over a pint in
my local. Given the choice I would probably not have chosen to go to Silverdale
but having been it is an experience that I would not have missed. Well done and
good luck to Silverdale in its 100th year celebration.
2 week holiday at Silverdale in the late 70s were the best times of my life, my
younger brother hated it! The coach trip from Leeds to the camp seemed to take
forever. I always remember there was always one or two children who hated it and
seemed to cry most of the holiday or made a verbal attempt to run away. But the
majority had a whale of a time! When you arrived you handed in your own clothes
and were given some knee length shorts and tee shirts including vests and underpants!
We mainly played in the grounds of the camp which was an adventure in its self
as you were more or less given free reign unless you were told by 'Matron' or
'sir' that it was out of bounds. I used to be fascinated with Morecambe Bay and
spent some considerable time watching the sea and the sunsets. There were some
trips by foot to the Pepperpot and Arnside Knot which were the best. I remember
that when it rained you could play table tennis and watch old movies like The
Three Stooges in the hall. I was at Silverdale when Prince Charles married Diana
and had to watch the wedding from start to end, no good when you have a made a
hide out in the woods and wanted to play at 'Armies', with your new found friends.
The Mayor of Leeds, (with guests), also made his annual visit when I was there
and we had to put on a little show for them and I remember I sang a solo called
'The Mermaid'. When you were inside the camp you had to take off your shoes and
wander around in your socked feet, which was fantastic when you are young as you
don't walk anywhere you tended to slide! I recently went back to Silverdale after
27 years and apart from slight changes it still looked the same and brings some
very fond memories back. The only major difference was the beach. The sea has
eroded most of the half mile 'Grass' beach and all the sheep have disappeared,
which was very sad. I suppose that you would considered this natural progression.
I hope that children who go to LCHC today have fond memories when they get older
as I do.
- Kevin Denyer
went to Silverdale three times from 1971 to 1975. My sister went a fourth time
in 1977. I was too old then. I remember that for myself and my sister it was the
first time we saw a cow .We were brought up in Gipton, an inner city estate. They
seemed so large. We went looking for crabs on the beach, there where sheep grazing
there. We took this to be normal. It was not until I went to Scarborough a couple
of years later with school, that we realised it was not. Only thing I did not
like it that there was two dormitries, one was for children who peed the beds.
So there was a lot of teasing.
my fathers death, we had always gone on family camping holidays. After he
died, there was no money for holidays. I was at Silverdale in 1956. During that
rainy fortnight, along with two other girls, I produced three pantomimes, which
I suppose gave us something to do when we couldnt go out to play or for
walks. One co-pantomime director was Margaret Hezelgrave from my school, St Augustine's.
I wish I could recall the other girl's name. Perhaps she'll read this and remember!
The wonderful Mr and Mrs Farrar were in charge at the camp. They had a lot of
experience of working with children, having previously been responsible for a
children's home. They were very popular, particularly Mr Farrar, who taught me
to swim. While researching for my book, the centenary book on Silverdale, I read
Ernest Farrars superintendents report for my year. He mentioned that
a group of girls had put on pantomimes and made their own costumes with crepe
paper. I don't remember the crepe paper. I do remember that Mrs Farrar lent us
her wedding dress for the final production, Sleeping Beauty. The title of my book
comes from a boy named Frank who wrote a thank you letter to Mr Farrar. Frank,
like me, had learnt to swim at the camp. It
was fascinating to read the archived minutes, and one hundred years of annual
reports for Now I am a Swimmer (ISBN 0 9525547 2 0, £10). As well as tracing
the history of the camp, the book is packed with photographs, documents and personal
reminiscences. It is available through Leeds book shops, libraries and from the
LCHCA office, or direct from Pavan Press. Profits go to LCHCA.
son and his band have just been rehearsing at Silverdale camp. Perhaps a slightly
different use than most of your contributors remember but, rest assured, it is
still very well maintained and cared for. When we arrived at 6 o'clock the tide
was in and the sun just beginning to create golden highlights on the water. Picking
him up at nine it was extremely dark, the lights of Grange looked quite exotic
across the bay and we could see a few thousand million stars straight above us!
Fortunately for us it is only a few miles from home.
Graham C. Agnew
fortune has ensured that I have been able to travel extensively throughout my
adult life , as a child I had two holidays. One at Scarborough, run, I believe,
by the Round Table organisation, and one at Silverdale. My memories of Silverdale
have over the years somewhat faded but I remember the people who ran it to be
kind and what recollections of the events which occurred whilst I was there are
happy ones. I remember playing football out on the pitch back and across from
the main building with a thin lad who pretended to be the goal keeper Ron Springet
(some will know the name). I remember the swimming pool and the man - who must
have been one half of the couple who ran it - with his standard joke. It ran along
the lines of the pool is very cold so when you go in I do not want you saying
that you didnt know it was as cold as that - because I am now telling you
it is in fact as cold as that. And indeed it was, thirty seconds in the
pool and you lost the will to live. I remember an evening visit on a wet and windy
night to see the illuminations (Morcambe not Blackpool) and I remember being a
bit bemused that the sea around that area was often completely overwhelmed by
the expanse of wet and windswept beach, stretching into the far distance. Thinking
about it may only have been on the word of the adults that we knew sea actually
existed around the estuary and Morecambe area at all. There was of course a view
of the sea from the camp itself so we did know it was out there somewhere. Slightly
sadly, I suppose, the recollections now are more of vague feelings and general
awareness rather than detailed events. But remember it I do, and with affection,
so its worth is beyond argument. It was by pure chance I came upon the web pages
regarding Silverdale but now I realise it is still going I shall attempt to contribute
to its upkeep whenever possible.
Steve Plant, Leicester (adopted home)
is a happy land far far away ,where leeds poor children go for a holiday, silverdale,
silverdale" that's the song we sang numerous times, god I remember it so
well! I remember also the deafening silence, sic, as we got of the coach and there
was a husband & wife in charge, firm but kind. The country rambles, seeing
the pepperpot, the giants footprint, blackberry picking, I went twice to silverdale
in the 60s. 1st visit I was about 9 years old, 2nd visit about 12 years old. I
also remember on the second week we all got a postal order from home, some got
10 shillings, a few lucky ones got a bit more! and we'd all be taken down to the
little post office to cash them in and get sweets etc, and sing songs on the way
back, if the pool was clean enough we'd ask to go in before tea, oh yes! the smugglers
cave, I loved exploring that, and finding a sheeps skeleton! I am intrigued by
the thought of a reunion, but there's no way I will remember faces not after so
long, would love the oppertunity to visit!
See more Silverdale memories >>