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24 September 2014

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A home from home?
Ice lollies and rock
Rock and lollies - yum, yum
A Leeds institution will celebrate its centenary in 2004.

The children's holiday camp at Silverdale has given generations of Loiners a first glimpse of the sea.
City Life
Leeds City Council

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The camp is organised by a private charity. It receives grants from Leeds City Council but also depends on personal donations.

Leeds author Keith Waterhouse spent a holiday at Silverdale. He writes about the experience in his autobiography City Lights.

Leeds Children's Holiday Camp, 6-8 York Place, Leeds, LS1
0113 245 4281

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For 100 years, a private charity has been taking deprived children in Leeds on annual trips to the seaside, it is now planning a very special reunion to celebrate its centenary.

Do you remember holidays at Silverdale? Do you recognise any of the children in the pictures?

Email us at with your memories.

Thoughts on Silverdale I was there in 1952 aged 8 sorry I can not remember any of the names from that time, but I do rember we had tasks to do in the morning. Keeping the place clean and tidy along the corridors and dormitorys for which house were given points each week. In the afternoons a walk out, down to the beach or play within the camp site where there was a playground and a small wooded area and as a child who lived in the City (Burley Street) to see the Red Squirrel and other wildlife was just magical. Then there were the races once a week Running, Sack and Egg and Spoon. On the last Friday we were taken to colect Hazel nuts which were shgared out and given to each chil to take home on the Saturday.
Margaret Robinson (Nee Hudson)
Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

Im 18 and I remember going to Silverdale 8 years ago it was fantastic ive been twice and i loved it both times I went. Also both my parents have been when they were younger and they both liked it my mum went 25 years ago and everything was still the same when I went back. My biggest memory was of the singing we did and building treehouses I thought it was fantastic. The outdoor pool was still there when I went although we couldn't use it has it was too cold both me and my parents remember going to church and the little walks in the woods. It was the best holiday i ever had and il never forget it.
Samantha Woodhead

Oh when I saw that Silverdale was to be featured on Look North, I got a tingle down my spine. Memories of the Happy, Happy Days spent there came flooding back, what a long time ago that was but what a big impression it made on me. I was about 10 years old so it must have been the summer of 1966, I don't know what the records show but I remember it as a beautiful warm and sunny summer, the best ever! I had never been away from my family and remember to this day the kind of surreal excitement and anticipation that filled the bus (don't remember it being a coach) as we all set off from Great George street wearing the well worn uniforms that didn't quite fit, smelt strange but felt really good. Being all girls together in the dorm was such fun and I seem to remember we shared our baths too!
The days were filled with activities and you could choose to go on the trips. The trips were really long walks to places like The Pepper Pot, where we were attacked by giant ants, we had such fun running along screaming and the storeys we told to the others when we got back, the ants just grew and grew. Some days I remember helping out in the kitchen (we volunteered to do jobs but as everyone volunteered we rotated), I remember the giant potato peeling machine because it fascinated me.
We had races in the swimming pool which was freezing cold and my costume was so large I couldn't actually swim in it but I somehow came second. The prize was a little bow on a safety pin which I kept for years and probably still have somewhere. One of the best times was the mid-morning milk, I never drank milk at home my mother used to make milk puddings and cocoa to try and disguise it. However the cup of warm milk (yes even warm milk was delightful in Silverdale) was nectar. The gone would sound and we would all drop everything to go join in the mid-morning letters from home time, cook had a huge pan full of milk and everyone could get their cup filled, it was a time of fun, excitement, shared experiences and pleasure.

There was a man who brought loads of home made games with skittles and marbles and things and he would set up in the Games Room (where else) I think it was one end of the daily room we used but on an evening it was our Games Room and we all sang along to records and play games. I can still remember the words to one of the records we played "while driving in my limousine, much to my surprise, a little motor car passed me by about one third my size.......... Beep beep.. beep beep his horn went beep......... Oh my goodness the fun we had.

Thanks for the memories, hope you get a reunion sorted out.


I spent 2 holidays there. In 1946 I went off alone. In 1947 I went with my sister. One of the things I remember, is Lizzie Lord being made to crawl under the bungalow to 'rescue' 3 kittens. She was chosen because she was the skinniest girl there.When we peeled the potatoes woe betides us if we took too much potato with the peel because we found it mashed up with the spuds.The girls who had been to the camp before warned us to sleep with our knickers under the pillow. If any girl broke her knicker eleastic it was rumoured that she would look for a better pair when the rest of us were asleep. I also remember the walks. We went onto the beach and were warned about the quicksand. The best thing that I remember that on both occasions it didn't rain for the whole 2 weeks. We all came home as brown as berries.
Iris Crow

In 1967 my sister and I went to Silverdale.We set off from Great George Street in Leeds and queued up with masses of other "poor children" to be given our Silverdale clothes. Our mother waved us off, on a Sammy Ledgard coach(I think) and promised us she would send us five bob by postal order.On arrival at Silverdale we all went to the bathrooms and had nit lotion plastered on our heads as the Matron told us all she didnt want any unwelcome visitors! It was a bit traumatic for some children as they were obviously homesick and this will have been the very first time away from home for most of us.However the trips to the beach and "The Pepperpot" and "The Wishing Well" were great fun and the first time we all ran down to the beach will stay with me forever.The sky was streaked with reds and orange colours and the sea was miles out,it seemed so vast.My sister kept telling me I would be swallowed up by the Quicksand~a big worry when you are seven years old! One of my best memories is jumping from bed to bed in the dormatories,if you were caught you got "the slipper".This only added to the fun! Every night we used to sing the camp song:
There is a happy camp at Silverdale.
Where we all go for walks down by the lane,
The Wishing Well we have seen,
The Pepperpot and the Village Green,
And we are happy kids at Silverdale!
Each morning you were given any mail that was posted to you.Our five bob arrived ! We went down to the village and cashed the postal order and I bought a little plastic purse with a map of Morcambe on the front. When we came back we went in the swimming pool and someone pinched my sisters knickers! She had no more and we were in a right dilemma over this! We still laugh over this today.
Recently I went back to Silverdale and the manager who runs it now (Linda) welcomed us with open arms.She showed us round and we had such a nostalic day.Linda told us that next year is the centenary of Silverdale and they are hoping to have a reunion!


I went to Silverdale around 1957 or 1958. I was about 6 years old at the time. I remember the walks in the woods. I think i remember a little castle nearby. We went to church on a sunday, they dressed us all up, they gave you coppers to put in the box after the service.Looking at the footage on Look North tonight i remember the outdoor pool so clearly.I have so many memories of that place.we had a recreation room where we played games, we also played football and went swimming.We slept in coridoors with beds in long rows.It would be wonderful to hear of people who went to Silverdale at the same time as myself.
G. Wortley, Leeds

I remember going to Silverdale in the late 50's twice, my memory of the camp is the outdoor swimming pool. My biggest memory is that I had an accident and fell out of a tree and ended up in Morecombe hospital. We were only allowed to take half a crown spending money, this had to last the two weeks.
Ray Emmerson

I went to Silverdale in April/May 1965. I know it was at that time as I remember everyone gathering to watch the F.A. Cup final on TV when Leeds lost to Liverpool.

I also remember walks to The Pepper Pot, and to Gibraltar - no not that one, regular trips into Silverdale village across the fields. There was an outside swimming pool though as it wasn't exactly warm those two months it wasn't quite so inviting. though I do remember one particularly cold day one of the staff offering a prize to the first person to jump in.

Needless to say it wasn't me. I also remember queueing up for morning cocoa a sort of elevenses i guess. You were allowed spending money though it was limited and I remember that you handed it over to the staff for safe keeping then had to queue up to "withdraw " an amount as required. Sunday was church day, and buses turned up to take you to your own denominational place of worship.

I plumped for the Methodists and I remember me and two others being transported by car to the chapel. I have very happy memories of my two weeks at Silverdale and I was very happy to see the film of the place shown on Look North.

See more Silverdale memories >>

We have been unable to trace the copyright of the original photographs above despite the BBC making every effort to find out.

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