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Memories of a holiday romance

As a child summer holidays in the late 70’s until mid 80’s, always the same place, Butlin’s Hotel Saltdean.  We always went at the same time, meeting families that we only met once a year, exchanging photos of the year before.  What memories.

I remember running in each year to see what had changed, where was the TV room? Where was the games arcade going to be? In the later years what were the life guards going to look like. I could go on forever. My first holiday romance, my first broken heart, mended by the time I got home.  My children will sadly never have these type of memories.

The last time we went to Saltdean, we drove to the Ocean Hotel, only to discover it had been turned into flats, a sign of the times, I could have cried. In fact I think I did.

Editor’s note: Have added a photo of the Ocean Hotel which will hopefully bring back more memories for you Karen.

Ocean Hotel, Saltdean
From the private collection of Jennifer Drury

Comments about this page

  • Those were the days, when summer days seemed to last forever and you couldn’t wait to meet the people you had met the year before. The holidays at the Ocean Hotel are some of the best holidays I have ever had in my life, maybe that’s because we were so young and carefree. I have not been back to Saltdean since the mid 1980s and I always wonder how the people are that I met there over the years, I hope they are all OK and have the same wonderful memories as I do.. I used to know a girl called Karen who used to holiday with her nan and brother, we used to write to each other throughout the year maybe this is you, maybe its not. But thanks for bringing back some great memories; watching Fame in the tv room, dancing in the disco, eating chips and talking till the early hours with the St. Helens, Liverpool, Guildford, Ruislip crews and the Radio 1 roadshow in Brighton.. Oh yes they were the days. Thanks to Saltdean and my mum and dad for the best holidays a young girl could have ever wished for.

    By Amanda (23/04/2009)
  • Amanda, what a small world it is… Like wise Saltdean was the best holidays that I ever had, memories that would last forever, and yes I am that Karen that used to go on holiday with her nan and her brother. Nan has sadly gone but thats all the same for the wonderful times away, and I am pleased that the holidays held the same place in your heart as they did for me.

    By Karen (18/05/2009)
  • Wow Karen after all these years that’s unbeliveable. I only found a photo yesterday of us the first year we met, god we looked so young!  We were sat round the swimming pool, I think I was only 11 then. Are you on facebook? I have just found Jo from Macclesfield on there after nearly 20 years.

    By Amanda (19/05/2009)
  • Amanda, I am so pleased that you looked on the site again. No I am not on Facebook, but I would love to hear from you:, please contact me.

    By Karen (27/05/2009)
  • Ah how lovely!! Hope you two stay friends now you found each other. What a lovely story to read.

    By Kim E Williams (07/11/2009)

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