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Nostalgia And The Arts Of The Doublé Entendre
Colin Sidaway, Features Writer
Every once in a while I find myself in Huddersfield on a Tuesday when there is a Flea Market in the Kirklees Open Market where there are stalls selling bric-a-brac. On my last visit I was just looking at what was on offer when I came across some saucy seaside postcards. I couldn’t resist the temptation but to pick them up and glance through the variety of landladies, overweight wives and hen pecked husbands to the downright rude pretty girls showing most of what they had.

Also by Colin Sidaway...
Paris In Ilkley
Pictures As An Exhibition
The Blackburn Beverley
Buenos Aires Comes To Yorkshire
Railway In War Time
At the turn of the 20th century over 800 million postcards were sent every year. Most of the cards were pictorial scenes coloured in but the cartoonists of the day couldn’t resist poking fun at the would be holiday makers that flocked to the coast on the annual factory shut down and bank holidays. At such times the steam boilers would go cold, the chimneys cease belching forth black smoke, the steam engines in the factories would slow down and stop, the clatter of the shuttles would stop as would the wool spinning tops. Everybody went to the seaside and evidently wrote home to tell friends and neighbours what I good time they were having.

Initially, the postcards were picturesque but with more working class holiday makers, they became more ribald with doublé entendre captions that must have tested the postal laws of the day. In each decade the cards changed to reflect more affluent times but the message was always similar.

I looked around at the now closed mills in and around the town. There are no more smoking mill chimneys or workers setting off for a week or fortnight’s holiday at Brid, Filey or Scarborough. Gone are the glorious days of finding a spot on the beach and mom and dad paddling with dad tying a knotted handkerchief on his head while the kids built sand castles and never seemed to stop crying. There was always the possibility of holiday romance that ended when the holiday week was over.

The 1960s saw people wanting the promise of real sun and uncrowded beaches of Benidorm rather than Brid. No more Max Jaffa playing from the Palm Court on Sunday evenings but I’m told that Danny Wilde is still doing what Danny does best at a pub on the South Bay at weekends. There are still a few donkeys offering rides to kids but it is all a shadow of years past.

I was brought back to reality from my daydreaming by the stall holder trying to sell me the post cards. I handed over £3 and pocketed the cards. There was a cold sharp January wind that seemed to chill the spirit and I left the market with a pocket full of nostalgia of warm summer days at the seaside with fat ladies and hen pecked husbands and unhappy children.

Ah, those were the days.

Nostalgia And The Arts Of The Doublé Entendre, 5th February 2018, 15:54 PM