With the August bank holiday approaching, I couldn’t resist this brochure advertising sunny Eastbourne (Sussex) in 1922. Looking at the brochure, I’ve been planning my ideal day at the seaside as it would have been then. Trains from Victoria station in London took less than 2 hours to reach Eastbourne in 1922. I would start with a stroll along the Middle Parade, preferably wearing the sort of outfit seen in these pictures– these people clearly didn’t visit the beach to build sandcastles.
Then at 11.30 there was a band concert with music from Ivor Novello’s Golden moth (a musical comedy from the previous year with book by PG Wodehouse). I would follow this with lunch in the Oriental café, and perhaps a little shopping at Plummers “high-class costumiers and ladies’ tailors”.
The afternoon might include a visit to Madame de Lacey who offered “practical hand reading and psychology” in her first floor flat above the Violet tea rooms. Madame supplied a bracing approach to palmistry “Develop your latent powers, overcome your weaknesses and attain perfect health.” Then a long trek to the cliffs at Beachy Head or a short stroll to the Italian gardens for another concert or some holiday reading. I had a quick scan along the shelves of books in our office to decide which book to take and settled on “Royal romances and tragedies” by Charles Kingston – who could resist a book described even by its publisher as “amusing if sometimes sordid”?
Finally, I noticed that the British weather on a Bank Holiday was just as unpredictable in 1922 as it is today – as this advertisement makes clear: