The heyday of the seaside holiday

Whitley Bay lower promenade, postmarked August, 1934.
Whitley Bay lower promenade, postmarked August, 1934.

Carrie and Fred, on holiday in August 1934, sent a postcard of Whitley Bay Lower Promenade to aunty, Mrs Moore, in Huddersfield.

They really enjoyed visiting Tynemouth and found it “a most lovely place”, but the weather had been unsettled.

This part of the lower promenade was ideal for taking a stroll or sitting on the walls and sands in suits, coats and hats. The portable jetties for the pleasure boats can be seen amongst the beach amusements and cafe huts. Beyond that is the site where the annual sandcastle competition had taken place since 1907.

In 1914, just after the opening of the Northern Lower Promenade, the deck chair station was taken over by the council and reports were that 1,200 deckchairs were just not enough. A brick building erected during the war was to be used for tents and chairs from 1946.

The central section of the promenade was extended in 1924, with the addition of lampposts and the open-air theatre, removed in December 1944. The Southern Lower Promenade opened in 1932.

In June 1944, Mr Watts was given permission to put swings back onto the sands upon payment of £10, and Mr Lawson and Mr Watts were asked to submit a schedule of their pre-war and present charges to the Open Spaces Committee.

In the 1950s a huge mechanical elephant gave rides to children and their parents along the lower promenade.

If anyone has information ask for Discover at North Shields Customer First Centre on 0191 642 5270, or email