Summer holidays in the UK’s sunniest place are being celebrated by Heritage Eastbourne in a brand new and free ‘Vintage Summer Holidays’ exhibition at the Redoubt Fortress, detailing Eastbourne’s journey from a Victorian seaside ‘tennis town’ to a 1970’s mass market seaside resort.
Heritage Eastbourne are calling upon residents and past holiday-makers to send them photographs, postcards and mementos of Eastbourne trips, to be shared in the exhibition, helping to set the scene and showcase the Eastbourne holiday dream.
The interactive exhibition kick starts the school holidays on 23 July and is open until 5 September, making for a great family-outing and providing something for everyone.
From arts and crafts, seaside holiday history and literary icon Lewis Carroll’s holidays in Eastbourne, to archive film footage of Eastbourne holidays from yesteryear, the exhibition celebrates the town’s reputation as a bustling seaside resort.
Visitors will discover what brought holiday-makers to Eastbourne from as early as the 1870’s, when health vacations and sporting breaks were desired; through to the 1900’s when people travelled from far and wide to spend long lazy summer holidays on the beach.
Delight in watching short tourism films from yesteryear made by Eastbourne’s Publicity Department, from the late 1950’s through to the 1970’s; ‘Eastbourne – The Warmest Welcome on the South Coast’, ‘Eastbourne – Britain’s Quality Resort’ and ‘Eastbourne - Sun Trap of the South’, all paint the picture of health and prosperity found on Eastbourne holidays.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “There really is no better way to delve into seaside holiday history, than at Eastbourne’s seafront-facing Redoubt Fortress, ‘the Castle by the Sea’ in the height of summer.”
“It’s a great opportunity to discover the stories of Eastbourne's famous visitors, including Lewis Carroll, and see the holiday bed desk from where he penned many of his ‘Wonderland’ imaginings, whilst also sharing and creating your own holiday memories!”
Children can get hands-on with the exhibition by making postcards and crafty holiday memorabilia, whilst mums and dads can relax in the parade ground with a coffee from the vintage Outpost café, as younger children enjoy vintage pedal cars and balance bikes, as well as seaside style peep-through photo boards.
The seaside fun continues in the exhibition with a ‘photobooth’ section, in which visitors can don a sunhat and moustache, pose on a deckchair and recreate a vintage photograph from a past holiday in Eastbourne. Read the diary of a young Victorian girl holidaying in 1873 and discover what family holidays were like in 19th Century Eastbourne.
The ‘Vintage Summer Holidays’ exhibition is open daily from 10am-5pm at the Redoubt Fortress from 23 July – 5 September and is free of charge.