19 sun-kissed snapshots of seaside holidays in 1960s Bournemouth

Tourist hotspot is a city in bloom for sun-seekers, sportsmen, families and the foxtrot…

Paul O’Callaghan

Footage courtesy of Wessex Film and Sound Archive

This colourful 1961 promotional film showcases a host of attractions and activities that await visitors to one of Britain’s best-loved seaside resorts.

1. Welcome to sunny Bournemouth, which has thrived as a holiday destination since the arrival of railways in the late 19th century.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

2. Bournemouth Airport, formerly RAF Hurn, was for a brief period during the 1940s Britain’s only transatlantic airport. In 1958, Palmair began operating one of the country’s first charter flights, to Palma de Mallorca.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

3. Of course, the town is also accessible by less exotic modes of transport.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

4. The star attraction, Bournemouth seafront, with its seven miles of golden beaches.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

5. A happy couple kick-start their family holiday with a stroll along the sands.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

6. Rhododendrons put on a spectacular show in early summer.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

7. Dean Park, the former home of Hampshire County Cricket Club. Reflecting a 1970s Local Government Act that saw Bournemouth switch counties from Hampshire to Dorset, the ground is today used by Dorset Country Cricket Club.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

8. If you’re more sportsman than spectator, Meyrick Park is an idyllic spot for a day of golfing.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

9. Meanwhile, on Overcliff Drive, younger visitors can get their putting skills up to scratch.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

10. Another perennial favourite kids’ activity – pony rides at nearby Boscombe.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

11. Gordon Highlanders perform a traditional sword dance for the benefit of happy holidaymakers.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

12. Visitors get their bearings with a scenic open-air bus tour.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

13. Meanwhile, a serious game of ‘man-size chess’ gets under way on Bournemouth pier.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

14. Energetic explorers take a trip down the River Stour.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

15. Dinner time, 60s style! A prize to anyone who can guess what any of these jellied and bejewelled buffet dishes might be.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

16. This elegant party skips the cake icing-covered beef joint for fresh local lobster.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

17. Afterwards, a spot of dancing in the opulent surroundings of the Bournemouth Pavilion Ballroom.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

18. The following day, children are mesmerised by the bizarrely violent spectacle of a traditional Punch and Judy show.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

19. Visitors take in the sea view one last time before heading home.

Enchanting Bournemouth (1961)

 

The film and stills on this page are taken from Britain on Film, a digital archive of UK places that mean the world to you. 10,000 film and TV titles from 1895 to now will be digitised and can be watched for free on BFI Player.

Britain on Film is funded by the National Lottery funding and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

 

At Wessex Film and Sound Archive you can see and hear history, from late Victorian times to the present day, through moving images and sound recordings. The Archive contains over 36,000 film and sound recordings relating to Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, including film and tapes of local TV and radio.

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  • Britain on Film

    Britain on Film

    1,000s of films, beautifully preserved. 120 years of British life, unseen until now.

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