Oh! We do like to be beside the seaside!

AN outing to the seaside by coach was enjoyed by many people in years gone by.

Often organised as a works outing or by a club or a society, and resorts on the south coast were the usual destination, being in easy reach from the Woking area. But sometimes resorts further afield were visited.

A GRAND DAY OUT – Staff from Rose Cottage Laundry, Horsell Moor during their trip to Southend in 1949

The photo here was supplied by Beryl Barker (nee Povey). She is pictured sixth from the left of the girls kneeling. She says the year was 1949 and they are pictured at Southend. They were employed by the Rose Cottage Laundry that was on Horsell Moor.

The boy standing in the middle was the son of one of the women employees who lived at Knaphill. Beryl can’t remember their names, but she remembers going to a fun fair and a pub called the Hole in the Wall during their day out.

She says she had a good time at the laundry and always went to work happy. Although busy, it was “sweat, but no tears”.

From the age of 15, Beryl had worked in a shop at Knaphill. She moved to the laundry when she was 18. Later, she moved to a laundry owned by Harry Chasemore in Eve Road, Maybury.

One of their customers was the actress, comedian and impersonator Florence Desmond, who lived with her second husband, Charles Hughesdon, at Dunsborough Park in Ripley.

Beryl believes another customer was Britain’s last chief hangman, Alfred Pierrepoint. The laundry also had a contract from the army to clean blankets.

Back to those day trips. It has been said the wartime spirit of camaraderie over spilled into the early postwar years, lasting well into the 1960s. There was great excitement in the morning as the people who were going off together gathered to wait for their coach to arrive, usually hired from a local firm, or by a bus and coach operator such as the Aldershot & District Traction Company.

A view of Whiteways, at the top of Bury Hill, in 1960 as electrical engineering firm Nelco of Shalford’s staff, and their children, take a break during their journey. Photo by the late Ted Jauncey, courtesy of his son Kim Jauncey

The journey south was fun too. If heading for Bognor Regis or Littlehampton, a stop was made at an open spot called Whiteways at the top of Bury Hill. It is still a popular place, filled with motorcyclists most Sundays.

It was a convenient stop for everyone to get out and stretch their legs and for the drivers to let the engines of their coaches cool down after ascending the steep West Sussex hill.

Out would come squashed tomato sandwiches, bottles of Tizer, and thermos flasks with cork stoppers. Children would play a few games together.

On men-only outings, such as those from a working men’s club, out would come the beer crates and the first drink of the day.

It was then on to their destination with the seafront beckoning. After hours of seaside fun, the day-trippers would board their coach to go back home, but with a likely stop at a country pub somewhere near the West Sussex/Surrey border.

On summer weekends the roads would be filled with coaches taking people on day trips. And those who weren’t on an outing themselves would often gather to watch the coaches returning, particularly ones passing along the A322 Bagshot Road heading for destinations further on.

During the winter months, trips were organised to London theatres to see pantomimes and other top shows.

Pictures:

Southend 1949.jpg

A GRAND DAY OUT – Staff from Rose Cottage Laundry, Horsell Moor during their trip to Southend in 1949

Top of Bury Hill, Nelco of Shaslford outing 1960.jpg –

A view of Whiteways, at the top of Bury Hill, in 1960 as electrical engineering firm Nelco of Shalford’s staff, and their children, take a break during their journey. Photo by the late Ted Jauncey, courtesy of his son Kim Jauncey

If you have some memories or old pictures relating to the Woking area, call David Rose on 01483 838960, or drop a line to the News & Mail.

David Rose is a local historian and writer who specialises in what he calls “the history within living memory” of people, places and events in the west Surrey area covering towns such as Woking and Guildford. He collects old photos and memorabilia relating to the area and the subject, and regularly gives illustrated local history talks to groups and societies. For enquiries and bookings please phone or email him at: davidrosemedia@gmail.com

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