|Valentine Postcard circa 1908. Postally unused.|
My postcard of the week shows the Yorkshire seaside resort of Bridlington, one of our family's favourite seaside destination when I was young. Indeed, one of my earliest memories is of the little boating lake that was located next to the Spa complex. I remember it as anything but little : it was vast, the size of the Atlantic at least, and the highspot of my holiday would be when my father, brother and myself would set sail in a small rowing boat in search of exotic lands.
|The re-developed Spa Complex in 2008|
The New Spa and Gardens were built in 1896 as a private development designed to provide much needed visitor attractions to what, until then, had been predominantly a fishing town. For 6d (sixpence in old money, two-and-a-half modern pence) you could get a day ticket which would allow you to explore five acres of gardens, listen to a band playing, take refreshments in the cafe, or go to a concert in the theatre. Initially it was a great success, but in 1906 - shortly before the above picture must have been taken - the theatre was devastated by a fire. A new building was quickly erected and the "New Spa Opera House" became a popular venue for the new craze in moving pictures (it was a opera house in name only). In 1919 the complex was bought by the local Council who demolished the less-than-grand Opera House and built the much grander Spa Royal Hall in its place. But the complex seemed to be plagued with bad luck and in 1932 it burnt down yet again. A new Royal Hall was built and that one seems to have survived the years, although it has recently been subject to a major redevelopment and modernisation.
I am not sure if the boating lake is still there. I must try and get to Bridlington sometime over the summer and take a look. If it is, I will hire a rowing boat and go in search of exotic lands. That's a promise.
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