There is something compelling about page after page of small hotels, boarding houses and appartments in minor seaside resorts. They boasted so much and uniformly delivered so little. Rarely did they confess to smelling of grease and sofas or being totally inconvenient for family holidays.

I noticed from my own holidays with my parents in the 1950's that when we rolled up at the forecourt (or usually alongside the pavement) the Hotel never looked like the photograph in the Town Guide. It was an early lesson in the capacity of the medium to lie shamelessly about the most important things. Lord knows the production values of the Town Guide (or the Railway Companies huge paperback publication) were minimal with minute tear stained photogravure illustrations, and paragraphs of unreadable prose.


I would sit with my brother in a crowded bedroom among the empty suitcases and immediately hanker after other boarding houses in the town, even in the same road which were, in actuality, immeasurbaly superior. We were so well mannered as a family we would continue for two weeks in a state of denial as the smell got worse and the mould advanced higher on the Game Room walls. The best you could hope for was a parallel family with daughters.


Each one of the images above contains masses of indicative images and propositions for at least a day's furtive speculation. Think about

The names chosen for the Hotel (Linga-Longa)

The amenities puffed (heat, games, servants)

The human presence implied (Host and Hostess)

The geographical convenience (Min.Prom)

The unremitting need to please........


I find the Holidays Intended so poignant, so inherently sad, I will add another screen as the memories return and sharpen.


see also SOUTHPORT


For a more charitable and lovable interpretation of the experience see Jacques Tati's Les Vacances de M.Hulot which I can watch only on the verge of tears. I stayed in a Hotel in Morecombe in 1955 which had an identical squeeking door to the kitchen to that used to comic effect in theTati film.