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1915 Town Guide

Mike Wilson, Local Author and Historian

Bridlington: Yorkshire's Boating Resort
Bridlington's appeal: Its Unfailing Vivacity

According to a well-known witticism, it is futile to take coals to Newcastle. A simile would be to attempt to introduce the name of Bridlington to the great holiday-making public of, say, Yorkshire and Lancashire. Most people, however, are at least familiar with its earlier epithet, Burlington, and still larger numbers know of Bridlington even if they have not made its actual acquaintance. Not to be aware of the existence of Bridlington is tantamount to an admission of geographical ignorance, for it is favourably situated on the margin of a beautiful bay of the same name, formed by the mighty Headland of Flamborough, of which every boy and every girl, properly brought up, learns in school days. The best of maps, however, is decidedly limited in its capacity to 'inform.' Likewise the most explicit guide book must necessarily fall far short of conveying one-half of which a place is like: its peculiar 'atmpsphere,' the spirit of the place, the depth of its appeal, all these must be felt by experience, or they are not felt at all. Who then is to convince one as to how much is missed by the individual who has not been to Bridlington?
This paragraph is the first of a number which praise Bridlington in the 1915 "Official Guide to Bridlington."


The next paragraph mentions "a host of delights crystallised in that terse modernism 'the Seaside,' so topically expressed in the ever-catchy songs, and understood to mean a perfect riot of enjoyment.
"The inhabitants of the industrial capitals of Britain, no matter where situated, look to their annual seaside holiday to have an enlivening as well as a physically invigorating influence. They desire to laugh and laugh heartily. Laughter is the best of all tonics; they are wise; it keeps the doctor away. And they come to 'Dear old Brid' to laugh.
"Yes," they say, "You must come to dear, bright, breezy old Brid."


The Royal Prince's Parade is described as "at all times a scene of animation and wholesome pleasure," noting that Prince Albert Victor opened the Alexandra Sea Wall on 20th July 1888. Readers are entranced by the "alluring fascination when in the magic evening hours it twinkles with a thousand witching 'eyes' and the moon hangs like a huge Oriental lamp in the sky, spreading its 'long glories' upon the breast of the sea."


On the south shore, readers are told about the New Spa with its dome, "which has a roof of glass, and has accommodation for 3,000 people. It is luxuriantly hung with baskets of flowering plants and creepers."
The Oriental Café receives attention in the brochure, as "it ranks as one of the attractions of Bridlington and this is nothing more than it thoroughly deserves; it is indeed recognised as one of the assets of the town. It has a truly Eastern atmosphere, combining comfort with elegance, the aroma of excellent coffee and so forth, and the charms of music and song." The Royal Victoria Rooms" are fitted up as a high-class picture house, and as such are much frequented."
Another attraction featured in the brochure are the sands. "It would be of little service attempting to enumerate the fascinations of wading and castle building, listening to the Pierrots and buying hokey-pokey (ice cream) and other 'coolers,' or resting on the splendid terraces or playing cricket and other games."


Under the heading 'Sailing,' we learn that there are "no less than upwards of 180 rowing boats licensed for hire, and as many as 60 sailing cobles. A pleasure steamer also makes daily trips, sometimes as far as Scarborough."
"One of the sights of Bridlington" is the twice-weekly open-air market. "The market affords great pleasure to visitors, and they certainly rejoice to find the town so well supplied with the dairy and other produce of the Wolds farms. Bargaining is quite a feature, and not a little amusement derived therefrom, for the plain Yorkshire folk from the Wolds are by no means as green as may be supposed. Busy days, but happy days."
In the advertising section of the brochure, the Brunswick Family and Commercial Hotel, the Alexandra Hotel, the Manchester Private Hotel, the Londesborough First-Class Family and Commercial Hotel, and the Rockville Private Hotel and Boarding House take full-page adverts. Harry Davis Furnishers, Brigham Photographers, and Foley's Restaurants and Café follow the hotels.
An advertisement for the Leeds Permanent Benefit Building Society urges readers to increase their savings during the war, claiming the best means of saving is by shares or deposits in the Society.